James Neal

Creative Entrepreneur in Paris, France

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My life has been filled with unique experiences and fascinating people. I was the second gay person in history to run for the US Senate. I've dined with Desmond Tutu and Dr. James Watson. Lauren Bacall screamed at me during a conversation. Brooke Astor at the Knickerbocker Club and Philip Johnson at the Four Seasons Grill Room flirted with me over lunch. I smoked a cigar with Monica Lewinsky. Civil rights icon The Rev. Joseph Lowery prayed for me and fashion icon Nan Kempner introduced me as the most handsome man in New York. I've been jailed twice for civil disobedience. Lord Jacob Rothschild and Edmond Safra are amongst the banking clients for whom I have worked. I was a state tennis champion at age thirteen. Social equality is a passion.

Grizzly bears fascinate me. Mom grew up dirt poor in a mill village. My home is the ground beneath my feet. Je suis au coeur de Paris. I've never met a stranger. I have a tattoo. I am a romantic.

I am writing a collection of short stories, have a multimedia project in the works contrasting the quality of life in the US and France and advise a select few early-stage companies and enterprises. Heretofore I have three start-ups under my belt and decades as an investment banker. I give back- whether it's a buck in a bucket, a night in a homeless shelter or membership on a board of directors. I received my M.S. from the University of North Carolina and MBA from the University of Chicago. I contribute to regional newspapers in the US, The Daily Beast and The HuffPost. I have been a guest on CNBC, NPR, NBC, ABC, FOX, Channel One (Britain) and ORF (Austria).

I'm a jock who is also drawn to contemporary art, vintage strike lighters, sand between my toes, and travel. Life is fleeting and I strive to to enjoy every step of the way, every day.

  • #design
  • #travel
  • #politics
  • #paris
  • #writing
  • Education
    • The University of Chicago
    • The University of North Carolina