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William “Bill” Albert Ackman (born May 11, 1966) is a US investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. He is the founder and CEO of the hedge fund management company Pershing Square Capital Management.
Short facts about Bill Ackman
Name: William Alberg Ackman
Born: May 11, 1966
Alma mater: Harvard University
Residence: New York City, USA
Spouses: Karen Herskovitz (married 1994, divorced 2018); Neri Oxman (married 2019)
Children: 3 with Herskovitz, 1 with Oxman
In 2006, Ackman founded the Pershing Square Foundation together with his then-wife Karen. The foundation supports innovation in economic development, education, arts, human rights, healthcare, and urban development. So far, over $400 million have been granted to various organizations by the foundation.
The Giving Pledge
Ackman has signed The Giving Pledge, commiting himself to give away at least 50% of this wealth to philanthropy.
Examples of charitable causes supported by Ackman
- Through his foundation, Ackman donated $1.1 million to the Innocence Project in New York City and Centurion Ministries in Princeton, New Jersey. Both are organizations working to exonerate wrongly convicted people.
The Innocence Project uses DNA testing to exonerate wrongly convicted individuals and find the real perpetrators. The origanization also works to reform the criminal justice system to decrease the number of wrong convictions. The project was founded in 1992 at the Cardozo School of Law in New York City.
The Centurion Ministries exonerate wrongly convicted individuals and find the real perpetrators through a combination of case research, field investigation, and trial aid (including the use of expert witnessess and highly skilled attorneys).
- Ackman donated $6.8 million to the Center for Jewish History, as he spearheadeded a project aiming to remove debts amounting to $30 million. The project was successful, with the list of major donors including Ackman, Bruce Berkowitz (founder of Fairholme Capital Management) and Joseph Steinberg (president of Leucadia National).The Center for Jewish History serves as a centralized place for exhibitions, performances, events, and scholarly research. It is a partnership of the American Jewish Historical Society, the Yeshiva University Museum, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute New York, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Together, they hold the largest repository of Jewish history in the United States.
- Ackman helped raise $2.3 million for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, an organization that assists, supports, and provides opportunity to people with physical challenges, so that they can lead active lifestyles and compete in athletic events.
- Ackman is a longtime donor to Democratic candidates and organizations, such as the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.