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NY billionaire Thomas H. Lee’s suicide shocks Wall Street community



The sudden death by suicide of Wall Street mogul Thomas H. Lee this week shocked the finance community and left his family and business associates with many unanswered questions.

Lee, 78, was found dead on the floor of the bathroom in his Manhattan office on February 23 by his assistant, who went to look for him after he had not been seen for some time. When he was found, there was a Smith & Wesson revolver next to him and he had a gunshot wound to his head.

Lee’s colleagues at his firm, Lee Equity Partners, are reportedly shocked by Lee’s suicide. Sources close to the company told Axios there were no legal or contractual issues or clauses that would have prompted him to commit suicide. Another source says Lee’s share of the company, which was previously listed between 25 and 50 percent, will go down now that he has passed away, based on financial plans the firm set in place years ago. At the time of his death, Forbes estimated his net worth at about $2 billion.

“We are profoundly saddened by the unexpected passing of our good friend and former partner, Thomas H. Lee,” the firm said in a statement. “Tom was an iconic figure in private equity. He helped pioneer an industry and mentored generations of young professionals who followed in his footsteps.” Lee left behind his wife of 27 years, Anne Tannenbaum, and two grandchildren. 

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