What You Need to Know: Tom Steyer

Who is Tom Steyer? 8 things to know about billionaire philanthropist, presidential hopeful

Billionaire investor and philanthropist Tom Steyer on Tuesday launched his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in a message posted on social media.

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"It's true," he wrote early Tuesday in a post on Twitter. "I'm running for president."

Steyer, 62, became the 24th Democrat to seek the presidential nomination after the exit Monday of Rep. Eric Swalwell.

Here are 8 things to know about him:

  • Steyer was born June 27, 1957, in New York City.
  • Steyer in 1979 earned his bachelor's degree from Yale University, where he was captain of the soccer team, according to a 2014 profile in Men's Journal. He went on to earn his MBA at Stanford University, according to the magazine.
  • Steyer moved to San Francisco in 1986, where he started the hedge fund Farallon Capital Management LLC. He stepped down from the company in 2012, telling investors he planned to focus on giving back to the community full-time, including "continuing participation in our community bank, in encouraging the advanced energy economy and in specific public policy initiatives here in California," The Wall Street Journal reported in 2012.
  • According to Forbes, Steyer has an estimated net worth around $1.6 billion. He and his wife, Kat Taylor, signed The Giving Pledge in 2010, promising to donate most of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
  • Steyer first entered politics in 2010, when he partnered with President Ronald Reagan's former Secretary of State George Shultz to oppose California's Proposition 23, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The ballot measure would have suspended a landmark 2006 climate change law aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the state. In 2013, he founded NextGen America, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group.
  • Steyer in 2017 launched the Need to Impeach campaign, an effort focused on removing Trump from the White House. He kicked off the campaign with a $10 million, 60-second ad and later pumped another $10 million into efforts to oppose Trump's tax reform effort, according to CNN.
  • It's not the first time Steyer has thought about running for office. In 2018, he considered joining California's gubernatorial race, and in 2016, he eyed a bid for the U.S. Senate, according to The Associated Press.
  • Steyer and his wife live in San Francisco. The couple has four children.

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