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Hedge Fund Billionaire Gives $100 Million to Central Park

John Paulson says he's paying back a childhood of memories


Somethings are more important than the next deal. And childhood memories can be more important than money.

John A. Paulson, billionaire manager of the hedge fund Paulson & Co., is giving $100 million to New York City’s Central Park, his childhood playground. The gift is directed at the Central Park Conservancy, which is responsible for the 130+ acre park’s upkeep and development.

The donation, which may be the largest to a public park anywhere in the world, will be split two ways, with $50 million going to the park’s existing endowment and $50 million to pay for capital improvements.

Paulson singled out two projects for capital improvements. First is restoring the park’s North Woods section, and second is landscaping, maintenance and upgrading of the southwestern Merchant’s Gate entrance.

Paulson grew up in New York and made the donation in thanks for the memories and happiness the park brought him as a child and young man. He continues to live near the park and frequently exercises there.

Nothing in the park will be renamed for Paulson because of the donation.

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