Belvedere, CA home of late tech billionaire and author of ‘Sex and the Single Zillionaire’ Thomas Perkins for sale; he entertained amongst others Sophia Loren and Rupert Murdoch there
Thomas Perkins (1932 – 2016) had it all. Born in New York, this Harvard University and MIT graduate made his fortune in Silicon Valley, California when he co-founded Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1972 and invested in amongst others Amazon, AOL, Compaq, Google, Macromedia, Netscape and Segway. He was said to be worth £6.4 billion ($8 billion, €7.4 billion or درهم29.4 billion), was briefly married to famed author Danielle Steel between 1998 and 2002 and wrote a novel of his own, Sex and the Single Zillionaire, in 2006.
Aside from an £8 million ($10 million, €9.3 million or درهم36.6 million) country house in East Sussex, England named Plumpton Place and ‘The Maltese Falcon’ – his 289-foot long, £104.3 million ($130 million, €120.9 million or درهم477.5 million) sailing yacht – Perkins owned a French style residence on Belvedere Island in Marin County, California. He purchased it with his Norwegian first wife, Gerd Thune-Ellefsen, in 1972 and continued to live there after her death in 1994.
Extending to 8.885 square foot in total, the house – which was put up for sale last June by Perkins’s children – was built to the designs of architects Julia Morgan and George Kelham in 1928 and features 16th century linenfold wood-paneled walls in a room described as a ‘Grand Salon’. Here, Perkins entertained European royalty, his fellow News Corp board member Rupert Murdoch and the Italian actress Sophia Loren and given the room’s outlook to the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay, these luminaries cannot have failed to have been impressed.
Known simply as 345 Golden Gate Avenue, Perkins’s former home is for sale through Sotheby’s International Realty for £13.2 million ($16.5 million, €15.3 million or درهم60.6 million). It includes a formal dining room seating 18, 6 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, a guest apartment, an outdoor swimming pool and stands on a plot of 0.85 acres.
Prior to his death, in 2014, Perkins attracted controversy when he penned an article for The Wall Street Journal. At the time, he wrote:
“Writing from the epicentre [sic] of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one per cent’, namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one per cent, namely the rich”.
He later apologised for making comparisons to Nazi Germany but subsequently added: “In the Nazi era it was racial demonization, now it’s class demonization”.