David Rubenstein

NET WORTH: $2.4 billion


FUNDING AREAS: Education, Health, Arts & Culture, Policy

OVERVIEW: Rubenstein engages in what he calls "patriotic philanthropy," purchasing and gifting historic documents to the National Archives and other similar organizations, and supporting historic landmarks, and national cultural institutions. While this accounts for the bulk of his giving, he has also made major contributions in health and higher education. 

BACKGROUND: David Rubenstein graduated from Duke University and University of Chicago. He cofounded Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, in 1987 with William Conway and Daniel D'Aniello.


ARTS & CULTURE: Museums and cultural conservation are without question Rubenstein's greatest passion. One of his first philanthropic moves was a grand and dramatic gesture: he bought a copy of the Magna Carta for $22 million and gave it to the National Archives. He gave the Archives copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation, and millions of dollars to expand their gallery and visitor's center as well.

In addition to purchasing historic documents and loaning or gifting them to the National Archives, the National Mall was able to repair the earthquake damaged Washington National Monument thanks to his gift of $7.5 million in 2012, and Mount Vernon and Monticello have received $10 million each. He also sits on the board of the Smithsonian, and recently gave Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture a $10 million gift, as well as historic artifacts, bringing his giving at the Smithsonian to over $44 million.

Rubenstein also recently donated $18.5 million in 2016 to restore the 94-year-old Lincoln Memorial and expand exhibits and research there. He has also supported White House Visitor Center, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Zoo, and the homes of James Madison (Montpelier) and Robert E. Lee (Arlington House). He recently purchased a copy of the Bay Psalm Book, said to be the first book printed in the U.S., of which there are only 11 surviving copies, for $14.2 million, which he has pledged to lend to public collections throughout the world.  In 2013, Rubenstein gave at least $15 million to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and in early 2015, donated over $5 million to refurbish the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial.

EDUCATION: Rubenstein has given $25 million to Duke University for their Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, and endowments in athletics. He's also given money to Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and serves on the board of the University of Chicago Law School. 

HEALTH: The David M. Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering was made possible with a $10 million gift from Rubenstein. 

POLICY: Rubenstein recently gave $20 million to Brookings Institution, which will support foreign-policy research and establish the David M. Rubenstein Fellowships, a "program for early and mid-career scholars and other experts." Rubenstein co-chairs the baord of trustees of Brookings Institution. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Rubenstein is taking his Giving Pledge seriously. As he enters retirement age, he is likely to give more and more time to chairing non-profit organizations and shepherding institutions toward sustainable, long-term growth.


Managing Director, Carlyle Group
1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20004-2505

LINKS: www.davidrubenstein.com