NET WORTH: $11 billion
SOURCE of WEALTH: Appaloosa Management
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Hunger, Poverty
OVERVIEW: David Tepper has been a major contributor to education, particularly to schools with which his family is affiliated, and to fighting for education reform in New Jersey. He's also on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, and is particularly interested in fighting hunger.
BACKGROUND: Tepper grew up in a Jewish family in Pittsburgh, and attended University of Pittsburgh, where he earned his BA in economics.After graduation, he stayed close to his family in Pittsburgh and worked at Equibank before getting his MBA at Carnegie Mellon. After graduate school he continued to move between workaday jobs at Republic Steel, Keystone Mutual, and Goldman Sachs, before his career started to take off. At Goldman, Tepper quickly rose to manager of the high-yield desk, but after failing to make partner, founded his own hedge fund, Appaloosa, in 1993.
HUNGER & POVERTY: Tepper sits on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, a philanthropic organization that raises money from hedge fund leaders and funnels it to New York anti-poverty efforts. He also is particularly interested in addressing hunger; his foundation gave $15 million to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, and made substantial grants to Feeding America. David Tepper Charitable Foundation grantees have also included Food Bank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, and Phoenix House, which deals with drug and alcohol abuse.
EDUCATION: In 2003, Tepper gave $55 million to Carnegie Mellon, and they thanked him by renaming their business school the Tepper School of Business. In 2013, he gave the school another $67 million, and has given strong support since. Tepper has also given large donations to the University of Pittsburgh, and Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of Arts. He's been a major contributor to Teach for America as well, and his own Political Action Committee, Better Education for Kids, which is active in the movement for educational reform in New Jersey, advocating for controversial changes. Along with another hedge fund manager, Alan Fournier, Tepper made a $3 million commitment to help improve public school leadership in Jersey City in 2014. Other grantees have included Harlem Children's Zone, Friends of Team Academy, and St. Anthony's High School.
HEALTH: Tepper has not zeroed in any single cause in the health arena. Grantees have included American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, Ace Lymphoma, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
JEWISH CAUSES: Tepper has supported places like Temple Beth Shalom and Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest NJ.
LOOKING FORWARD: If Tepper continues to make the sort of money he has in the last few years, he's going to have quite a large pile of cash to give away. And all signs point toward him doing just that before long. Nearly 60, he's not in a huge hurry though, so it may be a few years before we seem him really start to uncork his fortune. When he does, expect to see efforts to improve education and fight hunger on a larger scale.
The David Tepper Charitable Foundation
c/o Appaloosa 51 JFK Pkwy, No 250B
Livingston, NJ 07078