“I’ve bought historic documents, like the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, and put them in places where people can see them.
“It led to buying other documents and then when the Washington Monument had its earthquake damage, I said, ‘I don’t want to wait for Congress to fix it up.’ I gave them the money to fix it. Then that led to other things. It’s just something that I think is a good way to give back to society. I came from very modest means and, with my last name, I’m not sure in other countries I would’ve risen up to be where I am today. I want to thank the country for what I have been fortunate enough to have, and that’s really the genesis of it.
“My standards are ‘will my money make something happen that wouldn’t otherwise happen? Will my money complete something that wouldn’t otherwise get completed? Do I have enough money and time to really have an impact?’
“I’m looking for things that I can actually see get done.”
Co-founder and co-chief executive
the Carlyle Group