David Patrick Columbia
Founder, The New York Social Diary

If you had $100 billion to give away, how would you spend it?

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First, a car. Then, setting about to feed and shelter the needy masses.

David Patrick Columbia

David Patrick Columbia is the founder and editor of New York Social Diary, a website that chronicles the lives of the Big Apple’s elite. Since graduating from Colby College in 1962, Columbia has led numerous lives: he's been a stockbroker, an owner of a head shop in upstate New York, a sportswear designer, a freelancer (he wrote a firsthand account of one of Truman Capote's "lost weekends"), and a scriptwriter for a courtroom television show. In 1988, Columbia finally found his calling when he collaborated with Debbie Reynolds on her autobiography. In 1994, Columbia began writing the New York Social Diary for Quest Magazine (a condensed version of the website is still printed in Quest every month). The New York Social Diary website was launched in September, 2000. Columbia has since become something of social fixture himself: he's been the subject of articles and blog posts in New York Magazine, Gawker, and the New York Observer.

Question: If you had $100 billion to give away, how would you spend it?


David Patrick Columbia: I’d buy a car first. If I had $100 billion to give away, I probably would spend a great deal of it on finding a way to feed people, and shelter people, and show them how to create those resources for themselves at the same time.


Conducted on: October 29, 2007