Venture capital legend dies aged 96

Carnation

Sad to report.

David T. Morgenthaler, who in 1968 used his own capital to start one of the nation’s first venture-capital firms and would go on to raise more than $3bn in financing during his career, has died at age 96.

MarketWatch reports that he built Morgenthaler Ventures in Cleveland into a firm that invested in more than 325 startups in areas ranging from information technology to life sciences, an investment focus that was inspired in part by one of his son’s battles with cancer.

Morgenthaler was also an early leader who shaped the venture capital industry and its policy agenda. He was one of the founding directors of the National Venture Capital Association, which started as “an old boys’ club” of about 20 firms that got together to pitch deals, his son Gary said.

As NVCA president, Morgenthaler oversaw the group’s move from Chicago to Washington, hired permanent staff and set a legislative agenda that resulted in rolling back the capital gains tax from 49% to 28% as an incentive to create entrepreneurial companies.

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Venture-capital legend David Morgenthaler dies at 96

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