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The Man Who Brought Riches to the Powerful
CNBC.com | April 04, 2012 | 10:59 AM EDT

Disney’s Michael Eisner. President George W. Bush. Former Columbia/HCA chairman and Florida’s current Governor Rick Scott. The list of those whose careers have been made or influenced by billionaire investor Richard Rainwater reads like a guide to contemporary American business. Struck in 2009 with a debilitating neurological disease, Rainwater, 67, no longer dominates rooms or makes the incisive calls. But the people he turned into players are speaking out about the man who gave them opportunities and advice. “There are certain people you meet in your life and it was one of those moments where you say this guy is something special,” ESL Partners founder Eddie Lampert said on CNBC’s "Squawk Box" this morning .

Lampert, who met Rainwater as a 25-year-old Goldman Sachs trainee in 1987, was joined on the morning program by David Bonderman, Texas Pacific Group founding partner; and Barry Sternlicht, Starwood Capital Group chairman & CEO. All of the leaders paid homage to talk about Rainwater’s legacy.

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