John Alfred Paulson, president of Paulson & Co., Inc, attends the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at a Capitol Hill hearing on the topic of 'The Regulation of Hedge Funds' on November 13, 2008, in Washington, DC.
CNN  — 

Here’s a look at the life of John Paulson, hedge fund manager and founder of Paulson & Co.


Birth date: December 14, 1955

Birth place: Queens, New York

Birth name: John Alfred Paulson

Father: Alfred Paulson

Mother: Jacqueline (Boklan) Paulson

Marriage: Jenny (Zaharia) Paulson (2000-present)

Children: Giselle and Danielle

Education: New York University, B.S., Finance, 1978; Harvard Business School, M.B.A., 1980

Other Facts

Founder, president and portfolio manager, Paulson & Company, Inc.

Became a billionaire in 2007 by shorting subprime mortgage securities after the housing crash.

Serves on the boards of many organizations, including the board of trustees of New York University and the board of trustees of the Central Park Conservancy.


1980-1982 - Consultant, Boston Consulting Group, a management consulting firm.

1982-1984 - Associate with Odyssey Partners.

1984-1988 - Managing director of mergers and acquisitions, Bear Stearns Companies, Inc.

1988-1994 - General partner with arbitrage firm Gruss Partners.

July 1994 - Paulson & Company, Inc. is established.

2009 - Paulson’s ability to foresee financial crisis and profit from the 2007 housing market crash is explained in Greg Zuckerman’s book, “The Greatest Trade Ever Made.”

2009-2011 - Paulson’s charitable donations include $15 million to the Center for Responsible Lending, $20 million to New York University’s Stern School of Business and $15 million to build a maternity hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, his father’s homeland.

2010 - Paulson’s $4.9 billion take-home salary sets a record for hedge fund industry earnings.

2011 - His fortune declines by $3 billion in 2011 after making bad trades. Paulson invests personal wealth in gold and earns $3.1 billion from 2010-2011.

October 23, 2012 - Donates $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy.

June 3, 2015 - Harvard announces that Paulson is donating $400 million to support its engineering school, which will be renamed after Paulson. It is the largest single gift in Harvard University’s history.

August 5, 2016 - Is announced as one of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s economic advisers. Trump is elected president on November 8, 2016.

June 2017 - Joins the board of directors of Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

July 1, 2020 - According to a report from Bloomberg News, Paulson announces in a letter to investors that Paulson & Company, Inc is converting from a hedge fund firm to a private investment office.

September 20, 2021 - Paulson files for divorce from Jenny Paulson.

July 7, 2022 - Jenny Paulson sues John Paulson for at least $1 billion.

September 6, 2023 - Paulson’s former business partner, Fahad Ghaffar, files a lawsuit against Paulson, accusing him of fraud. On October 16, 2023, Paulson files a suit against Ghaffar, accusing him of engaging in “criminality, deceitful machinations and underhanded self dealings” in order to enrich himself and his family.