Leon Black: Carl Icahn is 'the brilliant investor of our age'

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It was a good day for Carl Icahn.

First, it emerged on Tuesday that the 79-year-old corporate activist made roughly $3.4 billion in paper profits on his Apple bet, arguably one of the greatest trades of all time. At lunchtime, he talked up his investments on CNBC with his son, Brett, laughing about how much he wanted an Apple Watch. Then, in the evening, Icahn was feted by friend and fellow billionaire Leon Black at a charity event in Manhattan.

"Carl is the smartest single investor I have ever met," the Apollo Global Management CEO said Tuesday night at the Leveraged Finance Fights Melanoma event, which raised $1.6 million for the Melanoma Research Alliance.

"He has been the brilliant investor of our age," Black added, speaking below the gleaming golden statue of Prometheus at the Rockefeller Center skating rink. "Not only has he enriched himself, but more importantly, he has enriched countless other shareholders and creditors in terms of the fights he has taken on and waged successfully again and again and again."