Richard Rainwater

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Richard Rainwater
BornRichard Edward Rainwater
(1944-06-15)June 15, 1944
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
DiedSeptember 27, 2015(2015-09-27) (aged 71)
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Texas, Austin
Stanford Business School
OccupationEntrepreneur, investor
Net worthUS$2.8 billion (August 2015)[1]
Spouse(s)Darla Moore (m. 1991)

Richard Edward Rainwater (June 15, 1944 – September 27, 2015) was an American investor and fund manager, with many investments in the petroleum industry. He was one of the richest people in the world, with an estimated net worth of $3 billion.[1]

Between 2009 and his death in 2015, he suffered a rare neurodegenerative disease, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP).

Early life[edit]

The son of a wholesale grocer, Rainwater grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. He is of Lebanese roots.[2] He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in mathematics, where he was a member of the Tau chapter of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He was recognized by the national organization in 1996 as Kappa Sigma Man of the Year. After graduation, he went on to earn a 1968 MBA from Stanford Business School.[2]


After business school, Rainwater landed a job as an investment banker, but soon accepted an invitation from former Stanford classmate Sid Bass to manage and diversify the Bass family portfolio. Rainwater became the chief financial architect for the Bass family investments. He was given $5 million to invest during his first year and managed to lose it all. Rainwater then sought a more methodical investment strategy by speaking to investors like Warren Buffett and Charles Allen, Jr., while studying the work of Benjamin Graham and David Dodd.[3]

After that debacle, Rainwater sought advice on more qualitative investing and his investments began to take off, according to "Wall Street's Best-kept Secret," a cover story that appeared in the October 20, 1986 issue of Business Week, Rainwater eventually transformed the Bass family fortune into $5 billion.[4] He is reported to have amassed $100 million for himself during that period, which he later used as seed money for his own fund. He had been an independent investor since 1986, investing in more than 30 companies and purchasing over 32 million square feet of office space across the country with concentrations in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Denver. Fortune magazine described his investing style as "analytically rigorous but opportunistic and Texas-sized in its audacity."[5] Rainwater saw the peak oil phenomenon as an investment opportunity after reading Beyond the Limits.[5]

He founded, co-founded, or was a major investor in companies including Ensco plc, an offshore drilling company, in 1986; Columbia Hospital Corporation in 1988; Mid Ocean Limited, a provider of casualty re-insurance, in 1992; Crescent Real Estate Equities, Inc. in 1994; and Pioneer Natural Resources in 1997. In 2010, he was awarded the Arbuckle Award at Stanford, where he received a MBA in 1968. In accepting the award, he credited his mother with giving him people skills that had an enormous effect on his business and deal making success.[6]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to financier Darla Moore and had 3 children.[4]

In 2009, he was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy.

In March 2011, a court declared him incapacitated, and his youngest child, Matthew, became his legal guardian.[7]

Rainwater died on September 27, 2015 from progressive supranuclear palsy, aged 71.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Richard Rainwater – Forbes". Forbes.
  2. ^ a b Yu, Hui-yong (September 28, 2015). "Richard Rainwater, 71; Texas dealmaker, Bass family ally". Bloomberg L.P. Chicago Tribune.
  3. ^ Bancroft, Bill (June 11, 1989). "A Texas Power Play". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b Elkind, Peter; Sellers, Patricia (September 28, 2015). "Richard Rainwater: remembering a billionaire dealmaker". Fortune.
  5. ^ a b Ryan, Oliver (December 26, 2005). "The Rainwater Prophecy". Fortune.
  6. ^ *Sellers, Patricia (November 7, 2011). "The fight of Richard Rainwater's life". Fortune.
  7. ^ Elkind, Peter; Sellers, Patricia; Burke, Doris (November 21, 2011). "The Fight of Richard Rainwater's Life". Fortune. 164 (8): 126–140.
  8. ^ Notice of death of Richard E. Rainwater,; accessed September 27, 2015.