Ted Forstmann is the kind of man the American Dream was made for. The grandson of German and Italian immigrants, he embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of risking it all for a shot at success.
Today, Forstmann is senior partner of the private investment firm, Forstmann Little and Company, which numbers among it’s recent acquisitions General Instrument, Gulfstream Aerospace, and more recently, Ziff Davis Publishing. These are among the company’s holdings most in the spotlight. There are numerous others as well.
According to a recent article in the New York Times, “Forstmann is deeply committed to political and philanthropic concerns that go far beyond Wall Street.” He organized a major relief effort, in association with the International Rescue Committee, in Bosnia. He personally collected and delivered over 200 tons of winter clothing, stoves, medicines and canned food to the war-torn Bosnian city of Mostar, as well as to refugee camps in Zagreb, He is also funding special medical care for war-injured children in the Children’s Hospital in Zagreb.
On the home front, there are also ongoing battles to be won. As the failures of big government programs become too glaring to ignore, Forstmann has committed himself to funding local, community based solutions that work. One of those programs is Education Through Music-a special and ambitious project that brings music to the inner city kids in their schools. Fortstmann’s efforts as a meaningful benefactor have made possible instruction in violin, horns and piano as well as choral music and tap dancing, unique in that the arts are interspersed in the classroom with the more formal subjects, such as English and Math. This distinctive approach has helped heighten interest in learning on the part of all students.
As a boy, Ted Forstmann taught himself the piano, an instrument that would become a source of inspiration and solace in his years of growing up. As a man, Forstmann remembers what that experience meant to him. Now, through his generosity and good works, he is helping to give other children the chance to make music a friend.