Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had nothing but praise to shower on “considerate, caring, generous, unpretentious” billionaire Thomas H. Lee when she spoke at his memorial Monday after he joined the list of business affiliates who have died by apparent suicide.
Last Thursday, the financier, who once bought Snapple for millions before flipping the beverage company at a value more than tenfold of $1.7 billion, was found on the bathroom floor of his family office. Reportedly discovered by an assistant after his absence encouraged a search, Lee had suffered a single gunshot wound to the head and a Smith & Wesson revolver had been located near his body.
Mourners, including his widow Ann Tenenbaum, Dr. Mehmet Oz and the Clintons, gathered at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall Monday where the secretary of state stood behind the podium to offer some memories.
“Tom was a constant presence. We’ve shared births, and weddings and anniversaries; state dinners at the White House; lively parties from New York City, to Martha’s Vineyard, to the Hamptons — during good times and tough ones,” she recalled.
He “would tell you about an interesting person he just met and needed to introduce you to,” Clinton carried on. “He’d show you the latest book he was reading, sometimes pressing it into your hands. He’d share his latest joke — sometimes, not always cleaned up for company.”
“And he would encourage you to eat, endlessly eat,” she said with enthusiasm.
As previously reported, an associate had told the New York Post that they were “in contact with [Lee] Wednesday — there was no indication [of strife], and I knew him for 20-23 years.”
“I’m as shocked as anybody. He was an extraordinary person: successful, has a lovely family, and they’re all pretty damn good kids growing up, and they’re well-educated,” the associate said of Lee’s five children. “You know, if you picked somebody [to commit suicide], I would have never picked him. He was very positive, very friendly, very nice guy.”
“Considerate, caring, generous, unpretentious,” Clinton went on for the mourners within a week of a report that a former aide of her husband, former President Bill Clinton had died by suicide as well on May 7, 2022.
Remarkably, Mark Middleton, who was connected to the notorious (and also dead by suicide) Jeffrey Epstein, had been discovered tied to a tree by the neck with an extension cord with a gunshot wound to the chest. No firearm was discovered near his body.
Ex-Bill Clinton aide tied to Jeffrey Epstein death ruled a SUICIDE; reports of hanging, gun wound and NO GUNhttps://t.co/33CQGhu49F
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) February 23, 2023
“Bill told me yesterday he never had an uninteresting conversation with Tom Lee,” Clinton said, recounting her husband and the billionaire being golf buddies.
“We’re here expressing our gratitude for years as friends, as colleagues and certainly as family members for his long successful life,” she added having also noted that Lee’s Hamptons home had been a refuge for her after losing to then-Sen. Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.
“I was exhausted and disappointed and the first people who said, ‘Hey, come be with us’ were Tom and Ann. We got away from it all at their beautiful home in the Hamptons.”
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