James Neal

Creative Entrepreneur in Paris, France

Support my charity

My life has been filled with unique experiences and fascinating people. 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. Fashion icon and socialite Nan Kempner served me my first and last bullshot and years of laughter. 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. Existential crises anchor me.

Grizzly bears fascinate me. Mom grew up dirt poor in a mill village. I have never met a stranger. I have a tattoo. I am a romantic. I am loyal. Home is the ground beneath my feet. Bliss is sand between my toes and travel.

I collaborate with artists in disparate fields ranging from fashion to the visual arts. I am in the midst of writing a political essay on contemporary American politics. Photography, design and writing make me happy. 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