Tom Gores has enough money to shape the future of this country in profound ways. The businesses he controls impact the lives of millions of people, every day. He’s worth $5.7 billion. Last year, Forbes ranked him as the 118th wealthiest American. He owns the Detroit Pistons and is chief executive of an investment firm called Platinum Equity that controls more than $19 billion in assets.
As far as oligarchs go, his public image is pretty good. Despite the revelation back in 2008 that he was sleeping with his sister-in-law, he generally has a reputation for being a decent guy. A glowing story in Maxim describes him as the son of immigrants who grew up poor and worked hard to get what he has. When Gores bought the Pistons in 2011, he gave a press conference in which he talked about his sense of responsibility to the people of Detroit, summing up his motives by saying, “If it ends up a great investment for us… and is not great for the community, I don’t consider myself successful.”
Since then, Bloomberg has called him a “civic leader in Michigan.” He was lauded for helping raise $10 million to address the water crisis in his hometown of Flint. He was praised for saying he supported professional athletes like Colin Kaepernick who kneeled during the national anthem, releasing a statement at the time in which he professed that “America’s most treasured values include equality and diversity.”