Denver native Robert Smith visited his home town to deliver a commencement address at the University of Denver and gave an interview to KUSA-TV, the local NBC News affiliate.
Denver native Robert Smith interviewing with @9NEWS ahead of his #Commencement address tonight @UofDenver @AdviceGuruAlan pic.twitter.com/i84TbVZbiH
— Jon Stone (@JonStoneNews) June 9, 2017
Smith, who has a net worth of $2.5 billion according to Forbes, is the second richest African-American—behind Oprah Winfrey—and wants to be a role model to young Black men.
Salute to Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners who is currently ranked as the richest African-American male in America. #bethemovement pic.twitter.com/3zQ9zgMFPo
— DFWULYP (@dfwulyp) November 17, 2016
“It’s important that these young African-American men understand there are people like Robert Smith out there who can actually be learned in the sciences and engineering and in finance,” said Smith, a graduate of East High School in Denver when it was newly integrated.
He told the news outlet that tenacity is the main ingredient to his success. Smith said he learned to “pick a purpose and to be dogged in the pursuit of that purpose,” while still in high school.
As a high school junior in the 1970s, he developed an interest in computers and sought an internship at Bell Labs in Denver. Those internships, however, were created and reserved for college students.
But that didn’t stop Smith from relentlessly calling the company for six months until Bell Labs invited him for an interview.
“I ran my own race. I knew what I wanted, and my persistence paid off, and I came in and interviewed. They liked me, and I got the internship,” Smith said at an American University commencement …read more