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Smith holds degrees a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in chemical engineering, and a M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. According to his Forbes profile, Smith worked at Kraft Foods but quit to attend Columbia, which wasn’t his parents’ first choice. He then worked for the Goldman Sachs firm in New York and in Silicon Valley.

In 2000, after an IPO launched by Goldman, Smith cashed out and started Vista, slowly building the company to the powerhouse it is today. True to Smith’s nature, the mogul has contributed greatly and quietly to African-American and African causes while also being a major political contributor to Hillary Clinton and some GOP interests.

Smith made rare headlines this summer after he married 2010 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Hope Dworaczyk. The pair have one son and another on the way.

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Little Known Black History Fact: Robert Smith  was originally published on

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