Tom Golisano

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Tom Golisano
Tom Golisano.JPG
Personal details
Born Blase Thomas Golisano
(1941-11-14) November 14, 1941 (age 75)
Rochester, New York, U.S
Political party Independence (Before 2005)
Republican (2005–present)
Domestic partner Monica Seles (2009–present)
Children 2
Alma mater Alfred State College
Website Official website

Blase Thomas "Tom" Golisano (born November 14, 1941)[2] is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder of Paychex, the second largest payroll processor in the United States and former co-owner (along with real estate developer Larry Quinn) of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team and of the Buffalo Bandits lacrosse team. He sold the Sabres and its assets to multi-billionaire Terrence Pegula in February 2011. Golisano made a bid for the bankrupt Los Angeles Dodgers franchise in early 2012;[3] but his group was eventually outbid by a consortium led by Magic Johnson and the Guggenheim Partners. He also made a bid for the Buffalo Bills when that franchise came up for sale in 2014.[4] Golisano has an associate's degree from Alfred State College.

He is a founding member of the Independence Party of New York and ran on its ticket for governor of New York in 1994, 1998 and 2002. Although he was never elected, his percentage of the vote increased with each election. He spent a combined $93 million on the three campaigns.[5] By receiving more than 50,000 votes each time, Golisano brought the Independence Party an automatic ballot line for the succeeding four years. There was speculation that he would run for governor again on the Republican ticket, but it was announced, on May 15, 2009, that he was moving to Florida, allegedly to escape the tax burden in New York.[6]

Political involvement[edit]

After New York's Republican governor, George Pataki announced he would not run again in the 2006 election, Republican officials attempted to recruit Golisano to run for the Republican nomination. He changed his party affiliation to Republican, with the Independence Party's chairman's blessing, in October 2005, apparently in preparation for another gubernatorial run. On February 1, 2006, however, Golisano announced that he would not run for the governorship.[7]

In August 2008, Golisano contributed $1 million to the Democratic National Convention.[8]

In July 2008, Golisano formed a PAC called Responsible New York and funded it with $5 million of his own money. The PAC gives money to candidates for the New York state legislature, regardless of party. The PAC is aiming to support candidates for property tax cuts and election reform.[8]

In October 2008, Golisano voiced his opinion in favor of term limits for public offices in the New York City. Golisano vowed to fight Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to extend term limits, arguing that the people of New York City have voted twice in favor of the current law.[9]

In June 2009, Golisano took partial credit for creating the 2009 New York State Senate leadership crisis in which Republican seized control of a body that still retained a Democratic majority. Golisano, who had supported a number of Democratic Party candidates during the 2008 election, was dissatisfied with things like the Democrats' to solve the state's budget crisis by raising taxes on New York's wealthiest residents. He orchestrated the defection of Democratic senators Pedro Espada Jr. and Hiram Monserrate, who voted with Republicans to reinstate Dean Skelos as majority leader.[10]

In February 2011, Golisano became the spokesman for National Popular Vote Inc., a non-profit organization seeking to implement a popular vote system for presidential elections by harnessing the electoral college.[11]


He founded the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation in 1985, awarding grants to organizations dedicated to providing opportunities for those with disabilities and supporting their families.[12] Golisano has donated more than $2.7 billion to charity. He has made donations to fund health care and leading educational centers. He donated $14 million in February 2001 to the Rochester Institute of Technology to fund the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences and donated another $10 million to fund the Golisano Institute for Sustainability there in 2007. Golisano donated $14 million to the University of Rochester, which renamed their pediatric facility at Strong Memorial Hospital in his honor as the Golisano Children's Hospital in 2002. In October 2003, Golisano donated $5 million to Nazareth College, which named the new Golisano Academic Center in his honor. In July 2004, he made a $5 million gift to Hartwick College of Oneonta, New York, which was used to build a new academic building for the social science and management programs, and has been named Golisano Hall. On March 6, 2006, Golisano donated $6 million to Bishop Kearney High School and Our Lady of Mercy High School.

On October 8, 2008, Golisano donated $10 million to Niagara University for a new Center for Integrated Science building that will be named in his honor. On the list of contributors to the Clinton Foundation, which the foundation released in December 2008 as part of an arrangement with the Barack Obama administration, Golisano is listed as having given between $10 million and $25 million.[13] In November 2009, Golisano donated $4 million to Ave Maria University for the construction of a new field house.[14]

In 2014, The Golisano Neurology and Rehabilitation Center at Unity Hospital in Rochester, New York, funded by a $10 million contribution by Golisano, will open.

On October 30, 2012 it was revealed that Golisano was the $20 million anonymous donor to The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, in Fort Myers.

He was a contributor to the Upstate University Hospital children's wing addition in Syracuse. The wing was named in his honor.

Personal life[edit]

Three times divorced, Golisano has been dating former tennis star Monica Seles since 2009.[15][16] The two announced their engagement on June 5, 2014.[17]

Electoral history[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

Golisano has received recognition for his business prowess and philanthropy, including:

  • 2008 “Niagara Frontier Executive of the Year” presented by the University at Buffalo School of Management Alumni Association
  • David T. Kearns Medal of Distinction - recognizing significant achievements in business, public service and education, by the University of Rochester's William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
  • Rochester Business Hall of Fame (2001)
  • The 1987 Herbert W. VandenBrul Entrepreneurial Award, presented by Rochester Institute of Technology's College of Business
  • "Master Entrepreneur" award in Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year awards competition for Western New York
  • The "Distinguished Citizen of the Year" award from the Otetiana Council of the Boy Scouts of America
  • Shumway Distinguished Service Award from Family Service of Rochester
  • Humanitarian of the Year Award, presented by the Boy's Town of Italy, and the Commerce and Industry Award of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce.
  • Outstanding Alumni Award from the American Association of Community Colleges
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Nazareth College in May 2002.
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y.
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y.

In 2003, Mr. Golisano was awarded the first-ever Humanitarian Award by the Italian-American Community Center in Rochester.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tom Golisano". 
  2. ^ "The World's Billionaires: #721 B. Thomas Golisano". Forbes. March 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ Golisano talks about Dodgers bid Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  4. ^ Wawrow, John (August 6, 2014). Golisano submits bid to buy Bills. Associated Press. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  5. ^ Freakonomics revised and expanded edition, page 7
  6. ^ Why I'm Leaving New York,, Guest View by Tom Golisano
  7. ^ "Politics - NY Daily News". Daily News. New York. August 27, 2010. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b 8-20-2008 - "NY Republican Tom Golisano gives big money to Democratic convention" - Muckety
  9. ^ Council To Vote On Term Limits Issue On Thursday - NY1
  10. ^ Peters, Jeremy W.; Hakim, Danny (June 8, 2009). "Republicans Seize Control of State Senate". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  11. ^ Spector, Joseph (February 22, 2011). "Tom Golisano to help effort to end Electoral College". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved February 22, 2011. 
  12. ^ Golisano Foundation Site :: Home
  13. ^ The William J. Clinton Foundation, "Contributor Information."
  14. ^ Ave Maria University press release, Nov. 5, 2009
  15. ^ Abelson, Max (December 20, 2011). "Bankers Join Billionaires to Debunk 'Imbecile' Attack on Top 1%". Bloomberg. 
  16. ^ Monica Seles Courting Billionaire, 67 | NBC New York
  17. ^ Benny, Michael (June 5, 2014). Upstate Billionaire Tom Golisano reveals engagement to tennis star Monica Seles. WTVH. Retrieved June 6, 2014.

External links[edit]