Hedge Fund Billionaire Donates $100 Million to Central Park 1

Photo: Samantha Chang

Hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson is donating a whopping $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy, the largest donation to any park in U.S. history.

“It’s simply impossible to imagine what New York would be without Central Park,” Paulson said at an Oct. 23 news conference in Central Park that was attended by New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

“This past weekend in Central Park I saw babies in carriages, children playing, couples holding hands, dogs running, musicians playing, people jogging, cycling and people from all over the world talking, laughing and exercising. I thought to myself, ‘Central Park is a paradise unlike anywhere else in the world.’ ”

Paulson, 56, is a native of Queens, N.Y., and the founder and president of Paulson & Co., a New York-based hedge fund.

An alum of Harvard Business School, he was ranked No. 61 on the 2012 Forbes list of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of $12.5 billion.

Central Park, a spectacular 843-acre oasis of green in the middle of Manhattan, is visited by over 25 million people every year. In addition to being a go-to workout haven for NYC runners and athletes, the park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in New York City.

“John is a man who knows a good investment when he sees one,” said Doug Blonsky, CEO of the Central Park Conservancy.

“Central Park is fundamental to the economic and cultural health of New York City and the quality of life of its residents.