All the members of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Richard Driehaus (Laureate 2017).
Richard Driehaus’ (second from left) extraordinary success in the investment management industry fueled his transformational philanthropic gifts in the built environment, education, arts and culture, investigative journalism, and economic opportunity for the working poor. His philanthropy was been guided by a philosophy that giving back to society makes for a fuller life, viewing philanthropy as a form of inquiry; a way of learning about the world. According to Mr. Driehaus, ‘Like investing, it requires strategic thinking, innovation and tolerance of risk. Failures can be as important as successes’.
In appreciation of the important role of education in his life, gifts to educational institutions included donating $30 million in 2012 to DePaul’s business school, now named the Richard H. Driehaus College of Business, to support faculty recruitment and retention. (He graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in commerce in 1965 and a master’s in business administration in 1970.) He also generously supported his undergraduate alma maters: St. Ignatius College Prep High School and St. Margaret of Scotland Grammar School.
A vocal advocate for the application of humanistic values in the built environment, Mr. Driehaus nurtured his passion for architecture by funding initiatives in design excellence and historic preservation. In 2003, through the University of Notre Dame, he established the annual Richard H. Driehaus Prize, presented to a living architect who has shown dedication to traditional and classical design. In 2008, he completed a five-year restoration of the 1883 Samuel M. Nickerson Mansion in Chicago. The Gilded-Age residence is now the Richard H. Driehaus Museum featuring historically appropriate pieces from the Driehaus collection of Fine and Decorative Arts.
Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, Mr. Driehaus is the son of an engineer at a firm that designed and manufactured coal-mining equipment. As a boy, he developed an appreciation for architecture while working his newspaper route. He credited his coin-collecting hobby with introducing him early on to the dynamics of quotes and price changes. His interest in the stock market began at age 13 and, at 15, he made his first stock purchase.
After rising through the ranks of various financial firms, he established Driehaus Capital Management in 1982. Mr. Driehaus gained prominence by popularizing “momentum investing,” the practice of identifying and buying stocks that are doing well and holding them while they continue to rise. In 2000, he was named to Barron’s magazine’s “All-Century” team of 25 individuals identified as the most influential within the mutual fund industry over the past 100 years.
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