James Neal

Creative Entrepreneur in Paris, France

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My identity as a gay man informs my expression, perspective, inspiration, physicality, spirituality, and passion. I endeavor to pass on what I have learned and lived to others in pretty much everything I do.

Borders and boundaries challenge my patience and penchant for personal freedom. Nature, intimacy, and compassion are constants. The worst human condition I can imagine is to be normal.

I am 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 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 could and can not. I was a state tennis champion at age thirteen.

Grizzly bears fascinate me. Mom grew up poor and lived rich- there is no doubt that I am her son. I have never met a stranger. I am fiercely loyal. Bliss is sand between my toes, being naked and travel.

I collaborate with artists in disparate fields by aligning my business/entrepreneurial acumen and personal aesthetic with their creative spirits. Photography, design, architecture and writing are pleasures. 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 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'm a jock who is also drawn to collecting random objects such as umbrellas & cigarette cases and refinishing castoff furniture. Life is fleeting and I strive to to enjoy every step of the day.

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