Cancer is certainly no joke:
Theodore J. Forstmann, a colorful financier and philanthropist who helped pioneer leveraged buyouts, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 71. The cause was brain cancer, his spokesman said. Mr. Forstmann had been found to have a malignant glioma earlier this year. Mr. Forstmann was among the first executives to use debt to acquire companies, fix them and then sell them for millions — and sometimes billions — of dollars in profit.
Beginning in the late 1970s, he pooled money from wealthy investors and large pension funds to back his acquisitions while taking 20 percent of the profits, creating a business model that today is known as the private equity industry. He was often photographed arm in arm with a model or actress, including Elizabeth Hurley. (He was later the godfather of her son.) Over the last several years he dated Padma Lakshmi, the celebrity host of “Top Chef” and a model and the former wife of Salman Rushdie.
Mr. Forstmann never married and had a complicated view of the single life. In 1995 he told The Washington Post: “I find the prospect of being married more difficult than most people. I would be a difficult husband.” He added: “Maybe I’ll adopt some children. I’m not going to do nothing about this.”