Billionaire John Paulson gives $100 million to NY’s Central Park


Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson pledged $100 million to New York’s Central Park Conservancy, making the largest gift ever in the history of the city’s 155-year-old urban icon.

Paulson, whose personal net worth is estimated at $12.3 billion by Forbes, invests $20 billion for wealthy clients, pension funds and endowments at Paulson & Co.

At a news conference held at the park’s Bethesda Terrace, the soft-spoken fund manager detailed his life-long connection to the park, noting that his grandparents had their first date there and that he roller-bladed there as a young man.

For the park, whose annual operating budget is $46 million, Paulson’s gift is nearly six times bigger than the previous record donation of $17 million made in 1993. “It is an enormous amount and we are in shock,” said Dena Libner, associate director of public relations at the conservancy, a group which restores and maintains the park.

Paulson sailed to fame and fortune on a bet against the overheated housing market in 2007, but last year his main funds had double-digit percent losses from premature bets on a strong economic recovery.

In the $2 trillion hedge fund industry, the 56-year old Paulson, who lives and works near the park, keeps a relatively low profile, attending only a handful of industry conferences and rarely surfacing in the social pages that celebrate his rivals’ donations to cultural institutions and civic causes. Even his support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, for whom he has hosted fund raisers at his Long Island summer home, have not generated much press.

Until now, Paulson’s charity donations were directed mainly toward education and medicine. He made large gifts to his alma mater, New York University, to Harvard Business School where he earned a master’s of business administration and to Southampton Hospital on Long Island, New York.


'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.


New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…


NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.


Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…


Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.


M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"


Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.


Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in…

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't say much, but don't expect any lineup changes.


Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.


Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.


Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.


New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.


From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.


Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.


MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.