Billionaire philanthropist honored with tribute from every living ex-president
© Courtesy: Daniel Swartz

WE HEAR: David Rubenstein was the rare recipient of a quintet of presidential shoutouts, with all five former living presidents honoring him for his “patriotic philanthropy” in a surprise video.

Rubenstein, co-founder of private equity firm The Carlyle Group and a philanthropist who’s donated money to preserve a slew of historic structures, including the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, received the Liberty & Justice for All Award on Wednesday from the LBJ Foundation at a gala event at the National Archives in Washington.

Former Presidents Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaSanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Republicans bail on Coffman to invest in Miami seat Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate MORE, George W. Bush, Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonConservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign Sen. Walter Huddleston was a reminder that immigration used to be a bipartisan issue No, civility isn't optional MORE, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, along with former first lady Laura Bush, all appeared as part of a video tribute to him.


In his message, Obama said he was “proud” to call Rubenstein a friend, telling the camera, “From the unique vantage point of the White House, my family and I could watch the Washington Monument be restored after an earthquake, and the Museum of African American History and Culture rise nearby, both from a restored National Mall, all efforts that your patriotic patronage made possible.”

Bush, the 41st president, told Rubenstein, who is also chairman of the Kennedy Center, “America thanks you for all you’ve done.”