Stephen A. Schwarzman

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Stephen Schwarzman
Chairman of the Strategic and Policy Forum
In office
January 20, 2017 – August 16, 2017
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Stephen Allen Schwarzman

(1947-02-14) February 14, 1947 (age 73)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Ellen Philips (1971–1990)
Christine Mularchuk Hearst
Children3, including Teddy
1 stepchild
EducationYale University (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
Net worthUS$16.7 billion (March 2020)[1]

Stephen Allen Schwarzman (born February 14, 1947) is an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is the chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, a global private equity firm he established in 1985 with former chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers and US Secretary of Commerce Peter G. Peterson. His personal fortune is estimated at $17.2 billion as of October 2019.[1] As of 2019, Forbes ranked Schwarzman at 100th on its World's Billionaires List.[2][1] Schwarzman briefly served as Chairman of President Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Schwarzman was raised in a Jewish family in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, the son of Arline and Joseph Schwarzman.[4][5] His father owned Schwarzman's, a former dry-goods store in Philadelphia, and was a graduate of the Wharton School.[6]

Scharzman’s first business was a lawn-mowing operation when he was 14 years old, employing his younger twin brothers, Mark and Warren, to mow while Stephen brought in clients.[7]

Schwarzman attended the Abington School District in suburban Philadelphia and graduated from Abington Senior High School in 1965.[8] He attended Yale University, where he was a member of senior society Skull and Bones.[9][10] After graduating in 1969, he briefly served in the U.S. Army Reserve before attending Harvard Business School, where he graduated in 1972.[11]

Investment career[edit]

Schwarzman's first job in financial services was with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, an investment bank which merged with Credit Suisse in 2000. After business school, Schwarzman worked at the investment bank Lehman Brothers, became a managing director at age 31, and then head of global mergers and acquisitions.[12] In 1985, Schwarzman and his boss, Peter Peterson, started The Blackstone Group, which initially focused on mergers and acquisitions.[13][14] Blackstone would branch into business acquisition, real estate, direct lending, alternative assets, and now has some $500 billion in assets under management.[15]

When Blackstone went public in June 2007, it revealed in a securities filing that Schwarzman had earned about $398.3 million in fiscal 2006.[16][17] He ultimately received $684 million for the part of his Blackstone stake he sold in the IPO, keeping a stake then worth $9.1 billion.[18]

In June 2007, Schwarzman described his view on financial markets with the statement: "I want war, not a series of skirmishes... I always think about what will kill off the other bidder."[19]

In September 2011, Schwarzman was listed as a member of the International Advisory Board of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.[20][21]

Political and economic views[edit]

Schwarzman is a Republican. He is a long-time friend of President Donald Trump and provides outside counsel, and served as chair of Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum.[22][3] In response to criticism for his involvement with the Trump administration, Schwarzman penned a letter to current Schwarzman Scholars, arguing that "having influence and providing sound advice is a good thing, even if it attracts criticism or requires some sacrifice."[3]

He raised $100,000 for George W. Bush's political endeavors.[23]

In August 2010, Schwarzman compared the Obama administration's plan to raise the tax rate on carried interest to a war and Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939, stating, "It's a war. It's like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939."[24][25] Schwarzman later apologized for the analogy.[26][27] In 2012, Obama called Schwarzman and requested his assistance in brokering a budget agreement with Republicans in congress to avoid a fiscal cliff.[28] Eventually a deal was brokered with Schwarzman's help. The new tax plan added $1 trillion of additional revenue by raising taxes, closing loopholes, and ending deductions. Later Obama drafted a formal message of support for Schwarzman Scholars, an education initiative undertaken by Schwarzman. [29]

In early 2016, he said that in a two-candidate race he would prefer Donald Trump to Ted Cruz, saying that the nation needed a "cohesive, healing presidency, not one that's lurching either to the right or to the left."[30] He had previously made a donation to Marco Rubio in 2014. He also endorsed and fundraised for Mitt Romney in 2012.[31]

In late 2016, Schwarzman "helped put together" a team of corporate executives to advise Trump on jobs and the economy. The group, which includes JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Walt Disney boss Bob Iger and former General Electric leader Jack Welch, became Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum.[32][33] In February, Schwarzman was named as chair of the 16-member President's Strategic and Policy Forum, which brings together "CEOs of America's biggest corporations, banks and investment firms" to consult with the President on "how to create jobs and improve growth for the U.S. economy."[34] On August 16, 2017, following five members' resignations, President Trump announced via Twitter he was disbanding the forum. [35]

In December 2018, non-profit consumer advocacy organisation, Public Citizen, published a report titled: “’Self-Funded’ Trump Now Propped Up By Super PAC Megadonors.” The report disclosed that Schwarzman donated $344,000 to Trump’s re-election campaign. Following his election, Trump appointed Schwarzman as the chairman of the White House Strategic and Policy Forum.[36]

In 2019 and 2020, he made two contributions of $500,000 each to the 1820 PAC, a PAC created solely to support the re-election of Senator Susan Collins of Maine. [37]


Plaque at the New York Public Library central reference building honoring Schwarzman's contributions

According to Forbes, he had a net worth of $12.4 billion as of August 2018.[1] In 2014, Schwarzman was named as one of Bloomberg's 50 Most Influential people of the year.[38] In 2016, Schwarzman was again named as one of Bloomberg's 50 Most Influential people of the year.[39] In 2004, Schwarzman donated a new football stadium to Abington Senior High School—the Stephen A. Schwarzman Stadium.[40] In 2007, Schwarzman was listed among Time's 100 Most Influential People in The World.[41]


In early 2008, Schwarzman announced that he contributed $100 million toward the expansion of the New York Public Library, for which he serves as a trustee. The central reference building on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue was renamed The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.[42] In 2018, Schwarzman donated 10 million to another library, the Israeli National Library.[43]

On April 21, 2013, Schwarzman announced a $100 million personal gift to establish and endow a scholarship program in China, Schwarzman Scholars, modeled after the Rhodes Scholarship program. Schwarzman simultaneously announced a fundraising campaign with a goal of $200 million. The Schwarzman Scholars program is housed at Tsinghua University, one of China's most prestigious universities. The first class of 100 students graduated in 2017, upon completion of Schwarzman College, designed by Robert A. M. Stern, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.[44]

In spring 2015, Peter Salovey, the President of Yale University, announced that Schwarzman contributed $150 million to fund a campus center in the university's historic "Commons" dining facility.[45][46] Additionally, Schwarzman is also a member of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council.[47]

He has sat on the Board of Trustees of New York-Presbyterian Hospital since 2016.[48]

In early 2018, it was announced that Schwarzman gave $25 million to Abington High School, his alma mater. However, this donation was contingent on several conditions, including naming rights to the school. After the public learned about the deal, a new agreement was made and Schwarzman removed several of the conditions for his donation, including renaming the school.[49]

In October 2018, Schwarzman donated $350 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create the Schwarzman College of Computing.[50]

In June 2019, the University of Oxford announced that Schwarzman had donated £150 million to establish the Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.[51]

Schwarzman announced in February 2020 that he had signed The Giving Pledge, committing to give the majority of his wealth to philanthropic causes.[52][53]

Personal life[edit]

Schwarzman married his first wife Ellen Philips in 1971, a trustee of Northwestern University and the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and they divorced in 1990. They have three children together, including film producer Teddy Schwarzman[54][55] and writer and podcaster Zibby Owens[56].

Schwarzman married his second wife Christine Hearst in 1995, an intellectual-property lawyer who grew up on Long Island, New York.[54] She has one child from a previous marriage.[19]

He lives in a duplex apartment at 740 Park Avenue previously owned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Schwarzman purchased the apartment from Saul Steinberg.[57][58] He spent $20 million on his seventieth birthday party.[59][60][61]

In 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported on the vast water consumption of wealthy Palm Beach residents during exceptional drought conditions.[62] Schwarzman was listed as a top-five water user, having consumed 7,409,688 gallons between June 2010 and May 2011. The average Palm Beach resident consumes 108,000 gallons per year.[63]


In 1999, Schwarzman received the American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award.[64]

Schwarzman has been an adjunct professor at the Yale School of Management and was chairman of the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 2004 to 2010.

In December 2018, Schwarzman was awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle, Mexico's highest honor for foreigners, by President Enrique Peña Nieto in recognition of Schwarzman's work on behalf of the U.S. in support of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.[65]

In 2019, Schwarzman wrote his first book titled, What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence, "which draws from his experiences in business, philanthropy and public service." His book became a New York Times Best Seller.[66]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ "Stephen Schwarzman: Blackstone's $10 Billion Man". Forbes. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Nocera, Joe (February 8, 2017). "Steve Schwarzman Explains Why He Counsels Trump". Retrieved March 29, 2017 – via Bloomberg.
  4. ^ "Live From New York, It's Steve Schwarzman". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "The world's 50 Richest Jews: 31-40 – Jewish World – The Jerusalem Post". Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  6. ^ "WEDDINGS - Christine Hearst, S. A. Schwarzman". November 5, 1995. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  7. ^ James B. Stewart (February 4, 2008). "The Birthday Party: How Stephen Schwarzman became private equity's designated villain". The New Yorker.
  8. ^ "Past Award Recipients". June 24, 2009. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  9. ^ Evan Thomas and Daniel Gross, "Taxing the Super Rich", Newsweek, July 23, 2007
  10. ^ Andrew Clark, "The Guardian profile: Stephen Schwarzman", The Guardian, June 15, 2007
  11. ^ "The 25 Most Successful Harvard Business School Graduates". Business Insider. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  12. ^ David Carey; John E. Morris (2010). King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone. New York: Crown Business. pp. 13–30.
  13. ^ "Team Information – Steven Schwarzman" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 6, 2006. Retrieved April 17, 2006.
  14. ^ King of Capital, pp. 45–56
  15. ^ "The Rise and Rise of Steve Schwarzman". Worth. September 17, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  16. ^ [1] Archived July 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Michael Flaherty, "Blackstone Co-Founders to Get $2.3 Billion Post IPO", Reuters, June 11,
  18. ^ King oReferencesapital, p. 3
  19. ^ a b Andrew Clark. "profile: Stephen Schwarzman | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Russian Direct Investment Fund Announces International Advisory Board". Russian Direct Investment Fund. September 16, 2011.
  22. ^ "Trump reviews top White House staff after tumultuous start". Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  23. ^ "Tycoon finds money can't buy him love". Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  24. ^ Jonathan Alter (August 15, 2010). "Schwarzman: 'It's a War' Between Obama, Wall St". Newsweek.
  25. ^ Neil Brooks; Linda McQuaig (April 1, 2012). "How billionaires destroy democracy".
  26. ^ Clark, Andrew (August 17, 2010). "Blackstone billionaire is sorry for Nazi jab against Obama's tax policies". Retrieved March 29, 2017 – via The Guardian.
  27. ^ Moritz, Michael (February 7, 2017). "Stephen Schwarzman's Bad Business Advice". Retrieved March 29, 2017 – via
  28. ^ Gottfried, Miriam. "Stephen Schwarzman's Lifelong Audacity". WSJ. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  29. ^ "Schwarzman Scholars". Schwarzman Scholars. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  30. ^ DiChristopher, Tom (January 20, 2016). "Wall Street CEO: I'd pick Trump over Cruz". Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  31. ^ Egan, Matt (April 29, 2015). "Blackstone CEO: GOP field way stronger than 2012's 'Seven Dwarfs'". Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  32. ^ Dayen, David (May 27, 2017). "Trump's 'America First' Infrastructure Plan: Let Saudi Arabia and Blackstone Take Care of It". The Intercept. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  33. ^ Alesci, Cristina (May 21, 2017). "Blackstone for American infrastructure". CNN. Retrieved June 10, 2017. In late 2016 a
  34. ^ "Trump Taps Steve Schwarzman, Jamie Dimon And Mary Barra For Advice On Job Creation, Growth". Forbes.
  35. ^ Edelman, Adam; Ruhle, Stephanie (August 17, 2017). "Trump Dissolves Business Advisory Councils as CEOs Quit". NBC News. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  36. ^ Johnson, Hanah Lola. "How the World Trade Organization Propelled the Rise of the Global Far-Right". InsideOver. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  37. ^ (Accessed 28 July, 2020.)
  38. ^ "Most Influential 50 Are the Bankers, Investors Who Move Markets". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  39. ^ "Bloomberg's Fifty Most Influential". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  40. ^ Stewart, James B. "The Birthday Party". The New Yorker. Conde Nast. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  41. ^ "Time 100 (2007) – Stephen Schwarzman". Time. May 3, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2008.
  42. ^ Robin Pogrebin (March 11, 2008). "Stephen Schwarzman – New York Public Library". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  43. ^ "Billionaire Trump Adviser Donates to Israel National Library". USA Today. Associated Press. February 8, 2018.
  44. ^ Julia La Roche (April 21, 2013). "Billionaire Steve Schwarzman Has Donated $100 Million To Start His Own Version Of The Rhodes Scholarship". Business Insider.
  45. ^ "YaleNews | $150 Million Gift by Stephen A. Schwarzman to Establish First-of-its-Kind Campus Center at Yale University". May 11, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  46. ^ "Stephen A Schwarzman Gives $150 Million for Yale Cultural Hub". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  47. ^ "Berggruen Institute".
  48. ^ "Hospital Leadership - Board of Trustees". New York Presbyterian. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  49. ^ Strauss, Valerie (April 12, 2018). "Billionaire offered $25 million to high school alma mater. What he wanted in return was too much for the district". The Washington Post.
  50. ^ Lohr, Steve (October 15, 2018). "M.I.T. Plans College for Artificial Intelligence, Backed by $1 Billion". The New York Times.
  51. ^ Adams, Richard (June 19, 2019). "Oxford to receive biggest single donation 'since the Renaissance'". The Guardian. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  52. ^ Zhang, Hannah (February 5, 2020). "Blackstone CEO pledges to donate the majority of his wealth to charity". CNN Business. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  53. ^ La Roche, Julia (February 5, 2020). "EXCLUSIVE: Billionaire Steve Schwarzman signs Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  54. ^ a b Toobin, Jeffrey (July 15, 2014). "The Birthday Party". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  55. ^ "Ellen Zajac and Teddy Schwarzman". The New York Times. November 11, 2007. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  56. ^ "Oh, Zibby, Thanks So Much for Calling!". Observer. June 20, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  57. ^ "740 Park | Michael Gross". Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  58. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (July 15, 2014). "The Birthday Party". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^ Campo-Flores, Arian (July 11, 2011). "Big Water Users Get Flak in Drought: Calls for Surcharges as Vast Amounts Consumed by Wealthy Palm Beach Residents Draw Ire of Neighbors". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  63. ^ "Top 5 Water Users in Palm Beach". Wall Street Journal. July 10, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  64. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  65. ^ "President Confers Mexican Order of Aztec Eagle on co-founder and CEO of the Blackstone Group Stephen Allen Schwarzman". Presidencia de la República.
  66. ^ The Blackstone Group Inc. "Our People". Retrieved March 31, 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone.
  • Greed and Glory on Wall Street—The Fall of the House of Lehman by Ken Auletta, The Overlook Press, New York, ISBN 1-58567-088-X

External links[edit]