Thomas H. Lee, a pioneer of leveraged buyouts who launched his investing career in Boston, has died, a family members spokesman reported in a statement on Thursday.

The statement didn’t offer details, such as a cause of loss of life or exactly where Lee died. Lee, who was 78, experienced places of work and a residence in New York City.

“While the planet knew him as one of the pioneers in the private fairness organization and a profitable businessman, we understood him as a devoted partner, father, grandfather, sibling, close friend and philanthropist who constantly place others’ needs prior to his own,” the statement stated. “Our hearts are damaged.”

Michael Sitrick, the spouse and children spokesman, declined to remark. Messages left with a spokeswoman for Lee Fairness Companions, his New York-centered investment decision organization, ended up not returned.

Lee began Lee Fairness in 2006 following he stepped down as chairman and main government of Boston-dependent Thomas H. Lee Companions, the firm he launched in 1974 and where his results acquired him the moniker “Boston’s Buyout King.”

In the 1980s and 1990s, Lee’s organization, alongside with Bain Capital, have been Boston’s massive stars in the then-emerging non-public fairness field. Lee was probably ideal acknowledged for making 10 times his funds on the leveraged buyout of Snapple Beverage, acquiring the iced-tea company for $135 million in 1992 and selling it two decades later for $1.7 billion.

Lee’s other huge deals incorporated the acquire, together with Bain Money and Carlyle Group, of Canton-based mostly Dunkin’ Brands in 2005 for $2.4 billion. The traders break up a gain of about $2 billion when they marketed the company.

Not all of Lee’s deals ended up winners. His company was burned by the 2005 collapse of Refco Inc., a futures and commodities brokerage agency. Refco filed for personal bankruptcy following disclosing that its main government experienced hidden $430 million in credit card debt from regulators and shareholders for years.

In accordance to his business biography, Lee invested far more than $15 billion in excess of 46 a long time in hundreds of transactions.

Buyout firms commonly obtain a organization, mainly with borrowed dollars, then seek to make it extra worthwhile and provide at a earnings. LBOs became controversial simply because the process of earning a company additional valuable occasionally involved deep layoffs, even as the buyout firm pocketed dividends and costs.

But Lee did not get tarred with that company raider brush.

“He’s that exceptional detail on Wall Road — a genuinely nice dude,” Forbes stated in a 1997 profile. “He is also a serious innovator in the deal organization.”

Lee attended Belmont Hill University and graduated from Harvard Faculty in 1965.

“I fundamentally worked like a pet to make it into Harvard,” he wrote in his 25th anniversary course report. “I commenced my organization . . . to suggest escalating organizations but swiftly obtained right into getting companies, some 85 to day.”

Lee donated $22 million to Harvard University in 1996.

“I’ve been blessed to make some cash,” he reported at the time, in accordance to a loss of life notice the household geared up. “I’m extra than happy to give some of it again.”

He also gave dollars and served as a trustee of lots of organizations, like Lincoln Heart, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Brandeis College, and the Blended Jewish Philanthropies of Larger Boston.

Before starting Thomas H. Lee, he worked at To start with Countrywide Bank of Boston in the high technologies lending group, beginning in 1966 and mounting to vice president in 1973. Before the bank, he was a securities analyst in the institutional study office of L.F. Rothschild in New York.

“Tom was an incredible specific,” Scott Sperling, a co-chief government of Thomas H. Lee Partners, reported in an e-mail. “He was an extremely gracious and generous male who was committed to his spouse and children and neighborhood.”

Substance from Bloomberg was utilised in this report.

Larry Edelman can be achieved at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeNewsEd.

By Sia