Billionaire Gives $100M to NYC's Central Park
Paulson gift biggest ever given to a park
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2012 12:07 AM CDT
John Paulson testifies before House a committee investigating hedge funds.   (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

(Newser) – Hedge fund manager John Paulson is parting with a chunk of his $11 billion fortune to make what is believed to be the biggest donation a park has ever received. Paulson, who made his fortune betting against subprime mortgages before the housing market crashed, is giving $100 million to preserve and improve New York City's Central Park, the New York Times reports. The huge gift will forever break the "cycles of decline and restoration that this park has suffered for so long," the chief of the Central Park Conservancy says.

Half of Paulson's donation will go toward the park's endowment and half will go toward improvements, though nothing in the park is being renamed after him. Paulson was born and raised in New York and his family connections to the park go back a long way: His grandparents had their first date there in the 1920s. "Walking through the park in different seasons, it kept coming back that, in my mind, Central Park is the most deserving of all of New York’s cultural institutions," he says. "And I wanted the amount to make a difference. The park is very large, and its endowment is relatively small."
 

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