Meet Robert F. Smith, the billionaire tech investor who just pledged to pay off the student loans of a college's entire graduating class
- Robert F. Smith is a billionaire tech investor and philanthropist who founded and serves as CEO of Vista Equity Partners.
- Smith just announced he will pay off the student debt of the entire graduating class of 2019 of Morehouse College in Georgia.
- His grant to the class is reportedly estimated at $40 million.
- Smith is worth an estimated $5 billion, according to Forbes.
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Robert F. Smith, CEO and founder of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, just announced he will pay off the student debt of the entire graduating class of 2019 of Morehouse College in Georgia, a gift reportedly estimated at $40 million.
Smith made the announcement during his Sunday commencement address at Morehouse College in Georgia, where he also pledged an additional $1.5 million gift to the school and received an honorary degree."My family is going to create a grant to eliminate your student loans," Smith said to the graduating seniors of Morehouse, which is an all-male, historically black college. "You great Morehouse men are bound only by the limits of your own conviction and creativity."
As a high schooler, Smith convinced Bell Labs to give him an internship even though they were reserved for college students. He went on to study at Cornell and Columbia universities, and he worked at Goldman Sachs before starting his own investment firm.
Here's a look at Smith's life and career.
Jonathan Marino contributed to an earlier version of this story.