William J. Ruane
|William J. Ruane|
|Born||October 24, 1925
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||October 4, 2005
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Minnesota
|Employer||Ruane, Cunniff, and Goldfarb|
|Known for||Manager of Sequoia Fund|
William J. Ruane (October 24, 1925 – October 4, 2005) was an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist.
Ruane graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1945 with a degree in electrical engineering and from Harvard Business School in 1949. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was on his way to Japan when World War II ended. He met Warren Buffett at an investment seminar with value investing guru Benjamin Graham and he and Buffett became lifelong friends. Buffett advised associates to invest with Ruane after he had closed out his initial partnership as they both employed Graham's value investing techniques.
Ruane founded his own investment firm, Ruane Cunniff, with partner Rick Cunniff in 1970, and the same year they launched their flagship Sequoia Fund. Ruane's firm was renamed Ruane, Cunniff, and Goldfarb in 2004, when Robert Goldfarb became president. In 2008, the Sequoia Fund announced it would open its fund to new investors for the first time since 1982.
In 1992 he adopted a block in Harlem, committed to make it a better place, renovating buildings and establishing clinics and community service programs. Ruane gave every child on the block a scholarship to a Catholic school. He also funded programs at public schools and schools on Indian reservations, and contributed to mental health causes.
He died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, aged 79 (several weeks before his 80th birthday). He was survived by his wife, Joy, and their four children: Billy (1957-2010; a music promoter), Elizabeth, Thomas and Paige Ruane.
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