David M. Rubenstein, philanthropist, historian and co-founder of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group, has written a series of books that examine how America was founded, shaped and inspired people worldwide to dream. His latest book, “The American Experiment,” gets to the heart of what it means to be an American and how that definition evolves with each generation through social movements and cultural shifts.


The philanthropist said the insurrection January 6 ‘did stress our democracy.’ “We came very close to a dangerous situation… after the last presidential election because of the contesting of the election, the legal challenges. This country went through what I called a ‘stress test.’ And while it wasn’t the most significant stress test we’ve been through–that being the Civil War– it was a significant stress test, it did stress our democracy, there’s no doubt about it.” (Washington Post Live)
Rubenstein said when he was approached about buying The Post, people he consulted told him it was a ‘fool’s errand.’ “Don Graham had breakfast with me and he told me he was interested in selling The Post… The way he proposed it was you buy The Post, some online company The Post owned a stake in… and also the real estate of The Post.. When I consulted people who knew a lot about… the newspaper business, they said this was going to be a fool’s errand… I didn’t realize the online company was worth probably twice what Don said it was, the real estate was worth probably twice what Don thought it was, and so, in the end, had I bought it, I would have been able to sell the online company and the real estate for the total purchase price of the entire package, and the newspaper would have come for free. That said, Jeff Bezos is obviously a richer person, smarter than I am, more technologically savvy. He did a great job, and I think The Post is in terrific shape today, but had I bought it I don’t think it would be in as good shape, so The Post is better off to not have me make that mistake, but I do regret it because it would have been fun to own The Post.” (Washington Post Live)
Rubenstein said the figurative ‘genes’ of the U.S. will lead the country out of political division. “I am worried that the country is divided politically and we can’t get a lot of things done through the government. I am concerned that many people are disappointed about where the future of the country is headed. There’s no doubt that we have those challenges, but on the whole, I do think the genes in this country which has made us so strong over the years, will pull us through.” (Washington Post Live)
The philanthropist said explaining his plans for the country and asking people for their help ‘is the best thing’ President Biden can do. “My advice, not that Joe Biden needs my advice, is pace yourself… And in the end… explaining things that you want to do to the American people in the most succinct way possible and asking for their help is the best thing that he can do.” (Washington Post Live)
Rubenstein said the number of immigrants and children of immigrants in the U.S. make the country unlike anywhere else in the world. “I do think that we are a bit of a melting pot in this country, people immigrate from all over the world. There’s no country that has as many people from all over the world as we do. We have 46 million people in this country who are immigrants, 40 million who are children of immigrants, a higher percentage than any other country in the world.” (Washington Post Live)

David M. Rubenstein

David M. Rubenstein is Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private investment firms. Established in 1987, Carlyle now manages $276 billion from 27 offices around the world.

Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Economic Club of Washington; a Fellow of the Harvard Corporation; a Trustee of the National Gallery of Art, the University of Chicago, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Constitution Center, the Brookings Institution, and the World Economic Forum; and a Director of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among other board seats.

Mr. Rubenstein is a leader in the area of Patriotic Philanthropy, having made transformative gifts for the restoration or repair of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Monticello, Montpelier, Mount Vernon, Arlington House, Iwo Jima Memorial, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the National Zoo, the Library of Congress, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mr. Rubenstein has also provided to the U.S. government long-term loans of his rare copies of the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, the first map of the U.S. (Abel Buell map), and the first book printed in the U.S. (Bay Psalm Book).

Mr. Rubenstein is an original signer of The Giving Pledge; the host of The David Rubenstein Show and Bloomberg Wealth with David Rubenstein; and the author of The American Story and How to Lead.