January 18, 2023

Carly Colombo
484-385-2934 (office)
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S. Donald Sussman, Founder and Chairman of Paloma Partners, to Receive 2023 Horatio Alger Award

Horatio Alger Association names 13 outstanding individuals, each of whom has overcome adversity to achieve professional and personal success, to its Member Class of 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 18, 2023) – Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that S. Donald Sussman, founder and chairman of Paloma Partners, has been selected for membership in this prestigious organization. Mr. Sussman joins 12 other exceptional business, civic and cultural leaders from across North America in receiving 2023 honors. For 76 years, the Horatio Alger Award has been annually bestowed upon esteemed individuals who have succeeded despite facing adversities, and who have remained committed to education and charitable efforts in their communities. 

Mr. Sussman was born into humble beginnings to a father who saved money his entire life with a goal of funding his children’s education. This goal was tragically cut short when he suddenly passed away. At only 15 years old, his father’s death thrust Mr. Sussman into the role of family leader.

Restless as a Columbia University undergraduate, he took a leave of absence and began working for a small brokerage firm. The experience opened his eyes to the nascent world of arbitrage investing, which would become the focus of his professional life. Nevertheless, he eventually returned to school, frequently while still working, earning a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from New York University. After working in investing roles for several firms, in 1981, at the age of 35, he founded the hedge fund Paloma Partners with one other employee, a desk, and two chairs. It was the dawn of the computer revolution, and Mr. Sussman became a pioneer in applying quantitative techniques to investing. In 2013, he was named to the Institutional Investor-Alpha Hedge Fund Hall of Fame.

“To work multiple jobs while attending and even excelling in college is no easy task, and Mr. Sussman is a terrific example that dedication and perseverance pays off,” said Terrence J. Giroux, executive director, Horatio Alger Association. “Many Scholars will relate to his experience, and it is our belief that he will serve as a great source of inspiration for these young students as they prepare to start their careers.”

As he achieved success in business, Mr. Sussman shared his wealth with others, earning a reputation as a distinguished philanthropist. In the last 15 years, he has donated approximately $100 million to organizations focusing on education, the arts and the environment. Recipients of his generous contributions include Massachusetts General Hospital, Weizmann Institute of Science, Skidmore College, Pen Bay Healthcare, Carnegie Hall, the University of the Virgin Islands and Miami Jewish Health Systems. Mr. Sussman’s efforts have earned him many accolades. He has received the Maine Philanthropy Award from Colby College and the Spurwink Humanitarian of the Year award, as well as honorary degrees from the Weizmann Institute of Science and Maine College of Art.

“I truly believe that education is a stepping stone to a better future, so throughout the years, I have searched for ways to create pathways for talented individuals who can excel across many fields if simply given the opportunity.” said Mr. Sussman. “The Horatio Alger Association is a wonderful example of the impact we can make on future generations. I look forward to networking with Scholars and joining the Members to help expand upon that impact.”

Since 1984, the Association has awarded annual need-based scholarships to high school students who have displayed dedication to pursuing higher education despite significant obstacles throughout their lives. The Association also aims to educate young people about the endless opportunities available by the free-enterprise system through commitment, honesty, and diligence. The scholarships are made possible through the Association thanks to the generosity of its Members, who will have collectively provided more than $245 million to 35,000 students by 2023.  

“Each year, it is our utmost honor to present outstanding leaders who have displayed extraordinary perseverance in overcoming challenges with the Horatio Alger Award,” said James F. Dicke II, chairman, Horatio Alger Association and 2015 Horatio Alger Award recipient. “Each of these incredible leaders has also shared their success with others, giving generously to important causes and communities in need. The 2023 awardees exemplify the Association’s mission and are proof that the American Dream is within reach for all who seek it.”

Mr. Sussman and the Member Class of 2023 will be formally inducted into the Association during the Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. from March 30 through April 1, 2023. The three-day event is an annual ceremony to honor both the achievements of Members and National Scholars, who will have multiple opportunities to meet, interact and exchange stories of perseverance. 

For more information about Horatio Alger Association and its Member Class of 2023, please visit and follow the organization on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:  

Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams through higher education. Through the generosity of its Members and friends, in 2022, the Association awarded more than $16 million in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships to over 1,600 students across the United States and Canada, and provided college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. By the 40thanniversary of the Association’s scholarship program in 2024, more than $259 million will be awarded in undergraduate, graduate, military veteran and career and technical education scholarships to more than 37,000 deserving students. For more information, please visit