In King of Capital, a new book out this week by David Carey and John Morris, the authors chronicle the deals and personalities that shaped the Blackstone Group, starting with how its founders, Steve Schwarzman and Pete Peterson, met at Lehman Brothers. We're told many times that Schwarzman had a drive like no other to make money and absolutely "hated to lose it," which informed the firm's approach to risk taking and helped it to "avoid the kind of brazen, outsized gambles that caused some high-flying rivals to run aground." But Steve is not just about the coin; he, too, loves to get his freak on.
Schwarzman was also something of a ladies' man, which was no small achievement given that Yale was still an all-male school at the time. He struck up a friendship with Davenport's dean, Horace Taft, a prominent physicist, and his wife, Mary Jane, who loved the ballet. She kindled a facination in Schwarzman for dance. In his junior year, Schwarzman started a club, the Davenport Ballet Society, and arranged for its members to see a dress rehearsal of the Nutcracker Suite, by George Balanchine's New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. Later that year, Schwarzman staged a dance festival at which students from nearby women's colleges performed. Rosen suspected Schwarzman started the club primarily "as an excuse to meet girls."