The Silicon Valley Legend Who Compared America’s ‘War On The Rich’ To The Holocaust Has Always Really, Really Liked Showing Off His Wealth


Tom Perkins, the 82-year-old retired co-founder of elite venture capitalist firm Perkins Caufield & Byers, has written a Letter to the Editor in the Wall Street Journal comparing persecution of the ‘rich’ to the Nazi’s persecution of Jews.

Writes Perkins, “I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich’…This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?”

The Atlantic and Valleywag both have penned rebukes to the letter, but a quick survey of Perkins’ history shows that this is not a guy afraid of vulgar ostentation.

-The last time he was prominently featured in the Wall Street Journal was 2012, when the paper’s real estate section ran a multimedia feature on his two-bedroom, three-bathroom, 5,500 square-foot loft apartment. Mr. Perkins mused to the Journal, “I’m called the king of Silicon Valley. Why can’t I have a penthouse?”‘

-Perkins also built the the (formerly) world’s largest private yacht, The Maltese Falcon, which he sold in 2009. The avid sailer has not always been lucky on the water — a French court convicted him of involuntary manslaughter in 1998, after his yacht Taos Brett IV capsized the boat of French physician Jacques Borry. Perkins ended up paying a $50,000 fine for the incident.

-Despite his hard-charging business reputation, Perkins is a still a lover of the arts — literally. He was married to novelist Danielle Steel from 1998-2002 (he’s still single now, ladies!), and in 2006 his first novel, “Sex and the Single Zillionaire,” received this generous review from Brad Feld of the Foundry Group: “It turned out to be really good for a first novel of this particular genre!” Apparently there are lots of sex scenes…and all proceeds of book sales went to Harvard.

A 2005 Forbes article titled “The Most Expensive House in California,” noted that Perkins listed his French-Normandy style estate for $20.5 million, shortly before moving onto The Maltese Falcon full-time.

-He owns a 20-foot long submarine, called ‘Dr. No,’ after the eponymous James Bond villain.

-In 1984, he published Classic Supercharged Sports Cars, a book chronicling his collection of pre-WWII classic cars, including Bugattis, Mercedes and a Dusenberg Type SJ.