Hamilton and Amabel James

NET WORTH: $1.7 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette; Blackstone

FUNDING AREAS: Environment, Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Global, Health & Human Services

OVERVIEW: Hamilton James and his wife Amabel conduct their philanthropy through the James Family Charitable Foundation. James is a trustee of several environmental organizations, as well as a few arts institutions. The couple support their schools.

BACKGROUND: Hamilton E. James graduated from Harvard and Harvard Business School in the 1970s and spent 25 years at investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. James was recruited to Blackstone Group in 2002 to help founder Steve Schwarzman. James serves as COO and president of Blackstone.


ENVIRONMENT: James is a trustee of Wildlife Conservation Society, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and serves as vice chair of Trout Unlimited’s Coldwater Conservation Fund. Supporting select environmental organizations is a top interest of this funder. The James couple has also supported Alliance for the Great Lakes, American Prairie Reserve, Classical American Home Preservation, Conservation Resource Alliance, Environmental Defense Fund, Global Coral Reef Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

EDUCATION & YOUTH: James supports his schools, Harvard and Choate Rosemary Hall. Harvard is home to a professorship in Amabel's name. The couple has also supported Amabel's alma mater, Wellesley College, as well as Bard College, Antioch College, Garrison Forest School (Where Amabel serves on the board), The Brearley School, USC, and Collegiate School. Garrison Forest is home to the James Center.

ARTS & CULTURE: James is a trustee of the Met, and chairman emeritus of the board of American Ballet Theatre. The couple has also supported Jazz at Lincoln Center, MoMA, Second Stage Theater, and Stark Naked Theatre Company.

GLOBAL: Grantees have included the Tsinghua Education Foundation, China Institute, and the Clinton Foundation. James is a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: The couple has supported Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Northern Michigan Hospital Foundation. James is a trustee of Mount Sinai Health System.

LOOKING FORWARD: In his 60s and still very much engaged in business, Hamilton James still has plenty of time to ramp up his philanthropy. It is worth noting that James also has an interest in government, which may mean that more policy and global organizations will receive attention down the line. He has also been an advocate for improving retirement plans for older Americans.


The James Family Charitable Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below are address and phone:

The James Family Charitable Foundation
615 W. Mount Pleasant Ave.
Livingston, NJ 07039
Telephone: 973-994-9122