Open main menu

Richard Gilder, Jr. (born May 31, 1932),[1] co-founder of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, heads the brokerage firm Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co.. The firm's specialty is trading leveraged stocks and shortselling.[2]

Early life and educationEdit

Born on May 31, 1932, Gilder attended Northfield Mount Hermon School before enrolling in Yale College, graduating in 1954 with a BA in history.[3] He received a Doctor of Humane Letters in 2007 from Yale. He provided $4 million, over half the necessary funding, in honor of his daughter, Virginia Anne, a two-time Olympian, for the recently completed Gilder Boathouse for Yale rowers. The boathouse carries only the Gilder last name to honor three generations of Yale alumni.[3][4]


After working at the brokerage firm of A.G. Becker & Co., Gilder founded the firm now known as Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co. in 1968.[5] He is chairman of the executive committee at the New-York Historical Society and serves on the executive board of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. With Lewis Lehrman he is a co-founder (1994) and trustee of the Gilder Lehrman Institute. He is also a trustee of the Morgan Library and Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, the Central Park Conservancy,[6] and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. He is chairman emeritus of the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think-tank,[7] and the Club for Growth, a conservative political action committee,[8] to which his ex-wife Virginia James continues to be a major donor.[9] In 2005 Gilder and Lewis Lehrman received the National Humanities Medal for their work promoting the study of American history.[10] He has now set up a PhD. program at the American Museum of Natural History in his own name, the Richard Gilder Graduate School at AMNH.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Gilder has four children.[5] His daughter Virginia Gilder (born 1958), also a Yale graduate,[3] was a member of the American women's quadruple sculls team that won the silver medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics.[12] and is a co-owner of the Seattle Storm, a professional women's basketball team in the WNBA.[13]

In 2005 he married former model and actress Lois Chiles.[14] Her paternal uncle was oil tycoon Eddie Chiles.[15]


  1. ^ See "Richard Gilder, Jr." (e.g. search for it, using Ctrl-F) at
  2. ^ Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co website – About Us
  3. ^ a b c Borzilleri, Meri-Jo (March–April 2011). "Taking Seattle by Storm". Yale Alumni Magazine. Gilder's father, Richard Gilder '54, gave $4 million toward the current crew boathouse, completed in 2000.
  4. ^ YALE Bulletin & Calendar, Volume 35, Number 30, June 15, 2007
  5. ^ a b "Q&A with Richard Gilder & Lewis Lehrman". C-SPAN. June 26, 2005.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Board of Trustees". Manhattan Institute. Archived from the original on 2015-04-26.
  8. ^ "Board of Directors". Club for Growth.
  9. ^ Cooper, Kent (20 March 2014). "Club for Growth Action Gets $1 Million Donation". Roll Call. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Advisory Board". The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
  11. ^ "First US Museum to Award Ph.D. Degree: Dean John Flynn Assumes Helm at Richard Gilder Graduate School at AMNH". Education Update Online. February 2009.
  12. ^ "Ginny Gilder biography and Olympic results". Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 2013-09-23.
  13. ^ Brewer, Jerry (September 25, 2012). "Storm co-owner Gilder's resolve takes your breath away". Seattle Times.
  14. ^ "Lois Chiles Talks About Being a Bond Girl". The New York Times. November 7, 2012.
  15. ^ "Lois Chiles: biography".

External linksEdit