It’s your typical immigrant story. Family leaves Greece for America. Father opens diner and works round-the-clock to support his family in America and back home. Son attends Northwestern University, goes on to found private equity firm, the Blackstone Group, chairs the Council on Foreign Relations, and retires one of the richest men in America. Your typical immigrant story—and then some.
In fact, very little is typical about Pete Peterson or his incredibly hard-working and generous father or his brilliant and like-minded son. But as extraordinary as Peterson is, he is all about the American Dream—so much so, that he has pledged $1 billion to keep that dream alive for others.
While Peterson could have spent his retirement on the golf course, he is happier pursuing his passion for fiscal responsibility in the halls of government and on the streets of New York. "God Bless America," Peterson’s dad liked to say. With all that Peterson is doing to tend to his country, it seems that he is living out yet another lesson from Dad.More Remarkable Givers
- American dream dashed? Pete Peterson sees a national ethos in peril
- "An Energizer Bunny": A typical retirement was not in the cards for Pete Peterson
- Biggest fan: Pete Peterson feels his father would have been proud of his philanthropic work
- Covering the bases: Pete Peterson approaches the debt crisis from many angles
- Craving the challenge: Pete Peterson admires philanthropists who are passionate and take on subjects that others avoid
- Going public: Pete Peterson sees an opportunity to build awareness amongst the general public
- Lessons from Dad: Pete Peterson’s father’s diner was open 24/7—for 25 years
- My favorite moment: Pete Peterson savors his summits
- Reaching new summits: Pete Peterson makes an invitation that political VIPs from across the ideological spectrum can't refuse
- Role of philanthropy? Pete Peterson’s leadership on national philanthropy leads to a key decision on his own giving
- The power of bipartisanship: Pete Peterson works to build consensus on making debt a priority
- The right team: Pete Peterson has a mission-aligned staff – including son Michael