James Neal

Entrepreneur in Brooklyn, New York

Support my charity

Creative people inspire me to learn more, do more and push harder. And to be present for the unexpected vagaries which make life more adventurous. The worst human condition I can imagine is being normal. The depravity.

I take risks. Mark Twain's words "twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do" are like chum to my ears.

During my life. I was the second gay person in US history to run for the United States Senate. Whatever. 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 and civil rights icon The Rev. Joseph Lowery prayed for me. I've been jailed twice for civil disobedience. I have HOMOSEXUAL tattooed on the inside of my left arm- for those who couldn't and those who can't.

Now you know. Grizzly bears fascinate me. Mom grew up poor and lived rich- there is no doubt that I am her son. I've never met a stranger. I was a state tennis champion at age thirteen. I am fiercely loyal. Bliss is sand between my toes, wandering through a bookstore or art gallery, cooking with friends, any cheese, any wine and travel. And meeting new people.

“What do you do?” I collaborate with artists in disparate fields by aligning my business skills and personal aesthetic with their creative spirits. Through 30 October 2018 I am curating “Curious Minds”, a Pop-Up sale of various objects of eccentricity from a private collection. Design, architecture, photography, modern art and writing are pleasures. Heretofore I have three start-ups under my belt and decades as an investment banker. I received my M.S. from the University of North Carolina and MBA from the University of Chicago. I contribute mostly-political essays and op-eds to platforms including The Daily Beast, HuffPo and Public Seminar. I have been a guest on CNBC, NPR, NBC, ABC, FOX, Channel 4 (Britain) and ORF (Austria). I love teaching. And learning.

In closing. I'm drawn to collecting random objects such as umbrellas & cigarette cases and refinishing castoff furniture. I recently began sketching and painting. I raised two sons as a single parent. I live out of a suitcase. I will speak French fluently if it kills me. I strive to enjoy every step of the day along the way.

  • Education
    • The University of Chicago
    • The University of North Carolina