Legendary dealmaker Jimmy Lee, the vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase, has died, the company said in a statement. He was 62.
“It is with deep sorrow and a heavy heart that I inform you that our beloved friend and colleague, Jimmy Lee, unexpectedly passed away this morning,” Jamie Dimon said in a statement.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife Beth, his three children, Lexi, Jamie and Izzy, and his entire family, whom he dearly loved. Jimmy was a great friend, leader and mentor to me and so many others.
“As Vice Chairman of our company and former head of our Investment Bank, Jimmy made an indelible and invaluable contribution to our company, our people, our clients and our industry over his nearly 40 years of dedicated and selfless service. Jimmy was a master of his craft, but he was so much more — he was an incomparable force of nature.”
Lee grew up in New Canaan, Connecticut. He attended the Canterbury School, where he played on the football team and ran track & field.
He attended Williams College in Massachusetts. It was the only college where he applied. His wife and kids also graduated from Williams.
In 1975, Lee joined Chemical Bank as an intern after graduation. The interview for the position was actually meant for his then-girlfriend/future wife, Beth, but she couldn’t do it so Lee stepped in. He went on to build a successful career at Chemical, which later merged with JPMorgan Chase.
In 2001, after years of running the investment bank, Lee was offered the job to run private equity giant Blackstone. He said it was a job that would have paid “billions, literally.”
He said he turned it down because he wanted to watch his three kids play sports.
“All three were accomplished student-athletes and I didn’t want to miss one of their games, and I didn’t,” Lee once said.
“If I took the Blackstone job, it would have meant family taking a backseat. No games to watch. I made a huge choice — family first, no matter what.”
Lee is survived by his wife, Beth, his three children, Lexi, Jamie and Izzy, and his grandchildren.
JPMorgan even included a video of Lee in its release about putting your family first: