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Behind College Offer: The Richest Black Person in US

Robert F. Smith is paying off the class debt at Morehouse College
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2019 12:20 PM CDT
Graduates react after hearing billionaire technology investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith say he will provide grants to wipe out the student debt of the entire 2019 graduating class at Morehouse...   (Steve Schaefer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
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(Newser) – It will be hard to top as a commencement speech going forward. Billionaire Robert F. Smith told 2019 graduates of Atlanta's Morehouse College in his speech Sunday that he would pay off all their student loans. Morehouse is a historically black college, and Smith is considered to be the richest black person in the US. The move is still reverberating on Monday. Details and developments:

  • Watch it here: This video captures the moment Smith announces the offer, as well as students' reaction.
  • Who's Smith? The 56-year-old is a former Goldman Sachs exec who went on to found the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, which focuses on software companies, per Forbes. The site pegs his net worth at $5 billion, higher than any black American and No. 3 among black people around the world.

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