We write with profound sorrow to inform you that our beloved founder Richard Gilder died last night in Charlottesville, Virginia weeks before his 88th birthday. Though he retired from the firm in 2017, Dick's principles and practices drive us still. Dick was unique, and shared his intellect, humor and generosity in ways not seen in others. His life was a testament to the beautiful potential that lies in each of us.
He was always drawn to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and often dreamed larger than the entrepreneurs he invested in. He was convinced he could change his clients' lives for the better, over time, by investing in growth. And when a company more often than not failed to live up to his expectations he would sell and move on to the next, never losing faith that this one could be as big or better than the last one should have been--and if not this one, then the next. He had a sunny view of mankind, and believed in the ability of an individual with a good idea and a good company to change the world for the better.
But for working with him and the firm he created, we wouldn't be the same people we are. Nor would Central Park have been rebuilt or the American Museum of Natural History and New York Historical Society have been revitalized or the Gilder Lehrman Institute created. He insisted on building and improving spaces where people can come together to enjoy the treasures of his city and country regardless of background or position.
Today we think of all of our clients and send condolences, for we have all lost a great friend. Dick, yours were the shoulders on which so many still stand. We will keep you alive in our work and honor you as we continue the search for growth and possibility.
May 12, 2020