VOL. 127 | NO. 85 | Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Roots of Faith
By Andy Meek
The man who correctly predicted the stock market convulsion of 1987, a veteran hedge fund manager who today is one of the richest men in America, held up a notebook at a celebration in his honor late last week.
Paul Tudor Jones, founder, chairman and CEO of The Tudor Group, is honored as the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus at PDS on Friday, April 27.
(Photo: Lance Murphey )
The man was Paul Tudor Jones, and the notebook contained some of his favorite Bible verses.
“Everything good in my life, and I mean everything, starts and ends with the religious training I got growing up,” said Jones, founder, chairman and CEO of The Tudor Group and the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus of Presbyterian Day School, during a ceremony at the school.
Jones, PDS Class of 1966, flew to Memphis last week to accept the award, putting him in the company of the likes of AutoZone Inc. founder J. R. “Pitt” Hyde and FedEx founder Fred Smith, past winners of the honor.
Jones’ remarks about faith – and his reference of specific Bible verses – were a declaration of his guiding philosophy and about what he said is the pervasive secularism that dominates his community in Greenwich, Conn. Jones referenced, for example, one of the Ten Commandments – the prohibition against coveting – when he told the crowd of educators, school officials, business leaders and more that he was breaking that commandment by coveting the faith-based community in which their children are growing up in Memphis.
Jones’ daughter Caroline, a singer-songwriter, preceded him. She performed two songs, one of them the hymn “How Great Thou Art.”
“It’s so great to truly be home,” said Jones, who is the brother of Peter Schutt, the president and CEO of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc.
Jones read aloud Bible verses like Proverbs 23:4, which instructs the reader not to “wear yourself out to get rich.” There was Proverbs 13:19, which explains that “desire realized is sweet to the soul.”
Paul Tudor Jones was back in Memphis Friday, April 27, when he was honored by Presbyterian Day School as its 2012 Distinguished Alumnus.
(Photo: Lance Murphey)
Jones came to one of his favorites when he quoted the verse in the Book of Matthew where Jesus tells his disciples, “Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.”
“This is not an everyday topic where I live,” Jones told the crowd. “Talking about my faith up there is like explaining snorkeling to an Eskimo.”
Before coming to serve as the featured speaker at The Daily News’ 125th anniversary party in November, Jones told the paper something similar. Again, that he sees a stark contrast between the nurturing environment he grew up with in Memphis versus the secular environment he’s trying to raise his children in.
“Going to a very religious school like Presbyterian Day School that was steeped in Christian principle went a long way towards teaching me the importance of both service and selflessness,” he told the paper. “Hopefully, I can fill in as a parent where many of the institutions have failed in my children’s lives.”
Speaking of the “least of these,” Jones was asked during The Daily News’ party about the Occupy Wall Street movement and about income inequality in the country. He said he understood both sides’ perspectives and that while he didn’t want to venture what the right answer is, he said he’s instead going to control what he can control.
He was referring to his own giving and his myriad charitable efforts.
Among those efforts, Jones has been instrumental in forming a charter school, he serves as chairman of The Everglades Foundation and as founder and a director of the Robin Hood Foundation, which fights poverty in New York City.