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“The Billionaire Who Chose Naples”

August 6, 2010

This is the headline in the most recent edition of Gulfshore Insider. It’s a glossy publication filled with ads from law firms that specialize in wealth management and estate planning. 

The billionaire being profiled is none other that Tom Golisano, three-time candidate for governor who moved to Naples a few years ago to escape New York taxes. 

This is going to sound very strange, but we couldn’t help reading this article and feeling a little sorry for Golisano. 

That’s nuts, right? How can anyone feel sorry for a billionaire who has retired to south Florida? 

Well, he seems to us to be a person who is searching for something, but just can’t find it. Not in a fancy lifestyle. Not in philanthropy.  Not in management of a professional sports team. Not in politics. 

He looks well, but doesn’t sound like the dynamo he once was. He “shyly admits to being single” and has a quacking duck for a ring tone on his cell phone. 

He complains about the fact that his attempts to help a local catholic college have been met with opposition. Apparently some people associated with the college don’t want his money because they think he is pro-abortion. He says these people are misinterpreting statements he made while running for office and that he’s really pro-life. 

Golisano has no plans to get involved in politics in Florida, but would really like to get more involved in the local community. 

He says that he’s most proud of having two children’s hospitals bear his name. “I get phone calls and letters from people telling me of the impact I’ve had on their youngsters. That’s very gratifying,” he says.

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