Unknown Billionaire gives £15.3m to African American museum

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture received their second biggest donation to date recently.

Billionaire Robert F. Smith has given the museum a gift of $20 million [£15.3m], their second biggest gift behind Oprah Winfrey’s $21 million [£16m] donation.

Robert is the Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, but has preferred until very recently, to keep his identity relatively unknown.

In an interview with the Washington Post, he spoke of the way that he still feels he is treated in certain ways because he is a black man. He said, “You should be able to drive to the airport and not be stopped three to seven times a year”.

Robert’s donation has helped to transform the museum into a digital, more interactive space, where people can visit to learn about the African American experience.

Founding Director of the museum – Lonnie G. Bunch III – is extremely pleased with the donation. “Robert’s gift exemplifies his commitment to increasing access to opportunity, recognising the potential in each of us and his respect for our past”.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened on 24 September, with the help of Robert and other generous donators.

TNT Business

Photo credit: Center for Global Policy Solutions

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