David Tepper: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

Key Speakers At The Robin Hood Foundation Investors Forum

People are usually more interested in the lives of celebrities like actors, musicians, and athletes than hedge fund managers. This is not surprising, as the work of investors is complicated and somewhat dull. However, these individuals have the ability to earn enormous sums of money if they invest wisely. With such great wealth comes power, influence, and freedom, making their lives incredibly interesting.

One of the most successful figures in the investment industry today is David Tepper. He founded and operates his own hedge fund which has earned him billions of dollars. His career is long and storied, with many unexpected developments. What is most interesting about Tepper, however, is how he has used his great wealth to benefit others.

Although he is one of the richest people in the US, few people know about Tepper. Even those that do focus on his work. While this is understandable, it obscures his amazing life. In order to provide a better perspective of how billionaires live, here are ten of the most interesting facts about the talented and wildly successful hedge fund manager David Tepper.

10. His first two investments did not pan out

Although Tepper is viewed today as an authority in the investment game, his first taste of investing was not a success. However, this may be due to the fact that his first investments were purchased for him by his father. These investments, in Pennsylvania Engineering Co. and Career Academies, both ended up going bankrupt. Luckily, Tepper was not deterred by this initial failure, and quickly found success with subsequent investments.

9. He is well educated

Although billionaire drop-outs like Mark Zuckerberg capture the imagination of thousands of young people who dream of starting the next Facebook so that they need not finish university, Tepper is an example of the benefits of education. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh and then went on to earn a Masters in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University. Clearly, education was one of the best investments that Tepper has ever made, as it prepared him for the storied career that he would later enjoy.

8. He left Goldman Sachs to form his own company

For most aspiring investors, working with Goldman Sachs is no more than a dream. It is one of the largest and most prestigious financial companies in the world, with assets reaching into the hundreds of billions of dollars. Not only did Tepper work for this company, he was actually recruited.

However, after working for Goldman Sachs as one of its head traders for about eight years, Tepper decided that he needed more control over his work. He left the company and founded his own hedge fund called Appaloosa Management in 1993. This company has seen remarkable success, famously performing well during the crash of 2008.

7. He loves being involved in his children’s lives

One of the most common stereotypes that comes to mind when thinking of a billionaire is that of the father who is more concerned with work than family. With Tepper, this is simply not the case. Despite his massive success, he devotes a great deal of time to helping out with his kids’ sports, even volunteering as a coach. He has three children, Brian, Randi, and Casey. It is heartwarming to see that the highest levels of financial success can be achieved without sacrificing one’s love for family.

6. He has a great sense of humor

While undoubtedly one of the hardest working and most brilliant investors in the world, Tepper also takes time to make his employees laugh. One famous example of this is the pair of brass testicles that he keeps on his desk. He rubs this unorthodox ornament to make others laugh, putting them at ease while they work. The object was apparently given to Tepper as a gift from former employees. While this is a silly fact about the investor’s life, it shows that he is both a man with a great sense of humor and someone who had an excellent relationship with his co-workers.

5. His marriage ended after many years

Unfortunately, not every aspect of the billionaire’s life is perfect. Despite his enormous wealth, or perhaps because of it, Tepper and his wife ended their marriage of nearly 30 years. David and Marlene Tepper were married in 1986, and enjoyed several decades of marriage, having three children together. Ultimately, however, the two separated in 2014. Although this is unfortunate, at least both parties certainly will not suffer financially because of the ordeal.

4. David Tepper Net Worth

While the net worth of actors and other stars is an interesting side note, for investors like Tepper, it is one of the primary indicators of success. Tepper has amassed an incredible fortune, with his most current net worth being estimated at about $11.4 billion. This staggering fortune makes him one of the richest individuals in the country. He has earned the majority of his wealth through investing in distressed companies.

3. He is a part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Tepper was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Short of actually playing for the team, his wealth provided him with the opportunity to experience what most people only dream about, owning the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. He is a minority owner of the team, having purchased a 5% stake in 2009. It is one of the most incredible aspects of his career, as he was able to combine his passion for his hometown team with his shrewd financial sense.

2. He has given a great deal of money to charity

Billionaires are usually self-made, meaning they have earned their incredible wealth through hard work and talent. However, possessing such great wealth in a time when so many people are suffering means that they often feel a responsibility to help those in need. Tepper has made good on his duty to others, donating millions to charity.

Having seen the incredible benefits of his own education, a great deal of his donated money is directed towards improving the education of others. On two separate occasions, he has donated over $50 million to Carnegie Mellon. In addition, he has funded several scholarships at the University of Pittsburgh and founded a non-profit organization named Better Education for Kids to improve education in New Jersey.

1. He has been named the top investor in the country

Although his incredible personal wealth is an indication of just how successful Tepper is, few people realize that he has actually been the single most successful investor in the country at several points in his career.

In 2009, the New York Times reported that Tepper was the country’s highest-earning hedge fund manager. This feat was repeated in 2012, when Forbes ranked him as the top earner for 2012. His success has earned him several awards and has placed him in a lofty category as one of the most successful figures in the investment world.


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