Stephen Schwarzman is an American financier, investor, and billionaire who specializes in Philanthropy. He is currently the chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group.
Personally, when I first started looking into Stephen’s life, I only knew of him as being a close friend of ex-President Donald Trump, which I must admit, made me want to find out more about him. It piqued my interest even more when I learned that he was one of the wealthiest men in New York, and I just had to find out what it was that got him to where he is today.
So, I did some more research and put together this biography to not only share what I found but also fill in all the gaps and tell you everything else there is to know about Stephen Schwarzman, founder of The Blackstone Company, and long-term friend of Donald Trump.
If, like me, you love learning about some of the kings of the business world and about how they earned their wealth, then when you’re finished here, you should check out this bio on Bill Gross, one of America’s most prolific bond fund managers.
Stephen Schwarzman Bio Facts
|Full Name: Stephen Allen Schwarzman|
|Birth Date: 14th of February 1947|
|Birth Place: Pennsylvania|
|Nick Name: N/A|
|Siblings: Brothers Warren Schwarzman, Mark Schwarzman|
|Children: Son, Teddy Schwartzman, and Daughter, Elizabeth (Zibby) Owens|
|Partner / Spouse: Christine Hurst|
|Profession: Businessman, Investor, Financer|
|Salary: $60 million|
|Net Worth: $35 billion|
|Social Media: Schwarzman Scholars (@SchwarzmanOrg) / Twitter|
|Companies Associated With: The Blackstone Group|
|Last Updated: August 2022|
Stephen Schwarzman Key Facts Summary
- Stephen is a Republican.
- Stephen raised $100,000 towards George. W. Bush’s political endeavors.
- He donated $100 million to the expansion of N.Y. Public Library.
- Thanks to Stephen’s $100 million donation, Schwarzman Scholars will continue to operate.
- He has contributed $150 million to Yale University.
- He’s also donated millions to charities, institutions, and foundations.
- He pays for the education of disadvantaged children all over New York, personally reviews their reports, and writes to each and every one of them individually.
- He pledged $8 million towards the Track and Field Foundation.
- He celebrated his sixtieth and seventieth birthdays by spending millions of dollars on parties.
- During a drought in 2011, Stephen was listed as one of the top-five water consumers. He had used 7,409,688 gallons within the space of one year.
Stephen Schwarzman Birthplace and Early Life
Stephen was born and raised by his Jewish parents in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. His father, Joseph Schwarzman, owned a dry-goods company in Philadelphia, and his mother was called Arline Schwarzman. He studied at the Abington School District in Philadelphia, graduating from high school in 1965.
He clearly had a strong business mind from a very young age because when he was just 14 years old, he started a lawn-mowing company and employed both of his younger brothers to help him run the operation.
After he finished school, he enrolled at Yale University and was a member of the Skull and Bones Society. He also established the Davenport Ballet Society. For a short time after graduating from university, he served in the U.S. Army Reserve and went to Harvard Business School. He graduated from there in 1972.
Stephen Schwarzman Career Success
Stephen began to show signs of success when he started a career with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette while studying at Harvard. After his graduation, he worked for another investment bank called Lehman Brothers. He eventually became the managing director of the company when he was 31, and after that, he became the head of global mergers and acquisitions.
In 1985, along with his bosses and a strong business strategy, Stephen co-founded The Blackstone Group. This eventually branched into the indirect leading, real estate, and acquisition. According to my research, the company currently has under management $500 billion in assets.
The Blackstone Group went public in 2007 and revealed that Stephen had earned around $400 million in 2006.
When he sold his stake in the IPO, he received $684 million and kept a stake worth $9.1 million at the time.
Things only improved for him over the next couple of years, and at some point in 2007, he received $350 million and a further $702 million in 2008. This was mainly down to stock awards.
By 2017, Stephen’s salary was estimated to be $786 million.
To date, Stephen remains the CEO of his company, The Blackstone Group, and I don’t think he has any intention to retire anytime soon, which is understandable considering the company’s current net worth, which, as it stands, is believed to be $800 billion of assets under management. This includes $260 billion in private equity.
As I mentioned earlier, Stephen was always interested in helping others succeed and progress. He was very generous and keen to donate to and promote other people and their businesses wherever possible. Below is a list of some of his donations over the past 12 years.
- In 2007, he donated $100 million to the New York Public Library.
- In 2013, he founded the international scholarship program, which is now named Schwarzman Scholars. You can check out their group on social media.
- In 2015, he contributed $150 million to the Schwarzman Center at Yale University.
- In 2018, he gifted $350 million to help build MIT Schwarzman College of Computing.
- In 2019, he gave $150 million to the University of Oxford for the new Center of Humanities.
Stephen Schwarzman Videos
Stephen talks to View From The Top where we hear him discussing how to handle entrepreneurial rejection.
Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman on Hiring Phenomenal People
Stephen discusses topics including how his firm operates and talks about his personal experience getting into the world of business after he graduated from college.
Stephen Schwarzman Delivers Welcome Remarks to Blackstone’s New Analysts
Listen to Stephen answer questions and answers during an interview for the Oxford Union.
Stephen Schwarzman | Full Q&A | Oxford Union
Stephen Schwarzman Business Failures
Despite making many extremely successful business deals over the years, there is one in particular that did not go to plan, and it turned out to be a very costly one.
When the Blackstone Group was still a relatively young company in 1989, a steel manufacturing company called Edgcomb Corp. became available for sale.
Blackstone had an exclusive first chance to buy it before anybody else, and as the company seemed to be doing well, they saw good potential in it. They were asking for $330 million for the sale of the company, and Stephen thought that it seemed like a great deal.
Another partner from Blackstone told Schwarzman that he disagreed and thought the company was only making money because of inventory profits. He said that he was sure that Edgcomb would get into severe financial trouble.
Despite hearing other people’s doubts, Stephen went ahead with the deal, but as it turned out, this was a wrong move. He started to realize his mistake just a couple of months after the deal went through.
He said that the price of steel had reached its peak and that the company had started to underperform because of this, therefore leading to them starting to lose money rapidly. I think this was probably the point when he realized that they wouldn’t be able to meet payment demands and that they were heading towards a massive crisis.
Schwarzman received somewhat of a telling-off for his mistake and got yelled at by an investor, which I imagine was quite a humiliating ordeal for a so far successful businessman. Still, he took it because deep down, he knew that he had failed and was ashamed of what had happened.
This didn’t knock Stephen; however, he used this point in his life to make sure that he never made a mistake like that again. It changed his outlook on how he was going to approach investments and deals in the future and gave him a new frame of thought when it came to his missions and values in business.
He’s often told others that you don’t learn a great deal about business from your success but instead from the failures. Amazingly, Blackstone sold Edgcomb, despite it now being totally unprofitable, and Stephen went on to be successful by putting new processes in place before any future deals they made.
While we’re on the subject of people who aren’t afraid of failures, you should take a look a the biography of Tim Draper.
Stephen Schwarzman Family
In 1971, Stephen married Ellen Phillips, his first wife. The couple was married for 19 years before their separation in 1990. They have two children together, Teddy, now a film producer, and Elizebeth Owen, also known as “Zibby,” a podcaster and writer.
Stephen married for a second time in 1995 to his current wife, Christine Hearst. A lawyer specializing in intellectual property, Christine was raised in Long Island, New York. She also has a child from a former partner.
Stephen Schwarzman Net Worth and Career Earnings
Stephen currently has a net worth of around $35 billion, making him one of the wealthiest people in New York. Most of his earnings are through his company, The Blackstone Group. He owns 19% of the company, which is what brings in a lot of his salary today.
Stephen Schwarzman Real Estate Holdings
Stephen and his wife own two main properties they reside in at different times of the year. One of them is on Park Avenue, New York, which they paid $30 million for in 2000. This was the highest amount anyone had ever paid for a property in that area.
The other property is a mansion in Palm Beach. It’s reported that they paid $20.5 million for this home and that as it stands today, it is possibly worth more than $100 million.
If you want to take a sneak peek into how other billionaires live, you should have a look at the life of Marc Andreessen, who purchased one of the most expensive properties in Californian history.
Stephen Schwarzman Quotes
Stephen has a lot to say when it comes to talking about how to succeed in life, and if you’ve ever watched him being interviewed, you will see that he has some very humble and straightforward opinions. He seems to talk a lot of sense and is a genuinely down-to-earth man who wants to help others achieve their goals and reach success.
Here are some things that Stephen has had to say about life, success, and failure from recovery in his career.
“I want war, not a series of skirmishes. I often think about what will kill off the other bidder.”
“It’s a war. It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”
“I’ve tried to teach people that you don’t learn an enormous amount from success because they’re sort of intuitive; what you learn the most from our failures. Any individual or any organization that doesn’t look at all the reasons why some situations resulted in failure is keeping alive the opportunity for more failures.”
“I think people have to read more and learn more about what is going on internationally.”
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Stephen Schwarzman FAQs
Question: How Much of the Blackstone Company does Stephen Schwarzman Own Today?
Answer: As it stands, he owns 19% of the company, which is where most of his income stems from today.
Question: What Religion is Stephen Schwarzman?
Answer: Stephen is Jewish and was brought up in a Jewish family.
Question: Who did Co-found The Blackstone Company with?
Answer: Peter Peterson. Peter is a former investment banker and billionaire.
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