A venture capitalist who is credited with playing a big role in the emergence of Silicon Valley has died. MediaPost reports that Thomas Perkins died Thursday in Marin County, Calif. He was 84.
Perkins was behind a number of key tech firms, including Netscape, America Online, Sun Microsystems, Amazon and Google.
“Perkins was born in White Plains, N.Y., in 1932 and graduated from MIT and Harvard Business School. He eventually went to work for Hewlett-Packard in the 1960s and became the first general manager of its computer division. In 1972, he founded Menlo Park, Calif.-based Kleiner Perkins with engineer Eugene Kleiner. He left the firm nearly 30 years ago,” MediaPost reports.
Perkins’ firm spent two decades investing in tech companies, leading to the Silicon Valley boom and helping to usher in the Internet Age.
The report quotes Pui-Wing Tam, writing in The New York Times: “Perkins and his partners popularized a model of investment that involved putting small amounts of money into promising young start-ups in return for a stake in the companies, giving them advice and counsel to spur their growth.”