Thomas Steyer

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Thomas Steyer
2012 Activity
OpposingProposition 32
Total Donated$500,000
SupportingProposition 39
Total Donated$29,580,000
ProfessionManagement firm founder
Net Worth$1.2 billion
High SchoolPhillips Exeter Academy
Bachelor'sYale University
Master'sMBA, Stanford
Thomas Steyer is the founder and co-senior managing partner of Farallon Capital Management. CNN has described him as "California's hedge fund king."[1] According to Forbes, in 2008, Steyer's net worth was $1.2 billion.[2] In 2011, the magazine ranked his fortune at $1.3 billion.[3]

Steyer and his wife Kathryn Taylor have four children. They have pledged to donate half their fortune to charity.[4] They own homes in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, as well as a 2,000-acre ranch in the coastal town of Pescadero.[3]

Political giving

In early October 2012, Steyer and other mega-donors were profiled in the Wall Street Journal. Steyer told that newspaper's reporter that until the reporter informed him of this fact, he had had "no idea" that he was #1 on the list of Bay Area political contributors. He also said, "The only times I've gone to a ballot measure was when I felt the system wasn't functioning."[5]


A February 2014 article in the New York Times profiled Steyer and his plans for the 2014 election season. According to the report, Steyer plans to spend as much as $100 million to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change laws. The campaign would include attack ads against governors and lawmakers. In February 2014, Steyer hosted a retreat asking donors to raise $50 million which he said he would then match. Among the targets mentioned in the article were Governor of Florida Rick Scott (R) and the U.S. Senate election in Iowa.[6]

Ballot measures



  • Steyer is the main financial backer behind Proposition 39. He views Proposition 39 as closing a loophole. Proposition 39 will require multistate businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. He says, "We have a loophole. It is worth over $1 billion a year. We should close the loophole, and that is what we are doing."[7]


In 2010, Steyer contributed over $5 million to the campaign for a "no" vote on California Proposition 23 and $1 million to the campaign to defeat Proposition 26. According to MapLight, Steyer together with his wife, Kathryn Taylor, were the 3rd largest donors to the ballot proposition campaigns for the November 2, 2010 ballot.[8]



In 2004, Steyer was among the country's top five donors to the presidential campaign of Democratic candidate John Kerry. He was a delegate to the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nominating convention. In 2008, he preferred Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, but once Obama secured the Democratic Party's nomination, Steyer donated and fundraised for the Obama campaign.[3]

Family background

Steyer grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He attended the Buckley School, Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale, eventually going on to earn an MBA from Stanford.[3]

See also