Robert Frederick Smith (born December 1, 1962) is an American billionaire businessman, philanthropist, chemical engineer, and investment banker. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. In 2018, Smith was ranked by Forbes as the 163rd richest person in America. He was No. 480 on Forbes 2018 list of the world's billionaires, with a net worth of US$6.7 billion. Smith was also included in Vanity Fair's New Establishment List. In 2017, Smith was named by Forbes as one of the 100 greatest living business minds. He was named "Executive of the Year" by the 2019 PitchBook Private Equity Awards. The award recognized Smith's $34 million pledge to eliminate the student loans of the 2019 class of Morehouse College, stating that "even in a world where charitable giving from private equity executives is commonplace, the gesture stood out." He was also recognized as one of the 50 people "who defined 2019" on The Bloomberg 50 List In a 2018 cover story, Forbes declared Smith the wealthiest African-American, surpassing Oprah Winfrey.
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