He left his role at the firm to focus on philanthropy in 2012 and has since become both a vocal activist to impeach President Donald Trump and, more recently, a candidate for President of the United States as a Democrat.
But despite his wealth and power, Steyer drives a 2016 Chevrolet Volt, a hybrid gas and electric vehicle. A 2019 Volt starts at $33,520.
"Tom's not into money. He's into achievement. He's into changing the world for the better," his brother Jim Steyer told Forbes in 2011. "He's the accidental billionaire."
In addition to driving the affordable car, Steyer flies commercial, his presidential campaign communications spokesperson, Alberto Lammers, tells CNBC Make It. The 2011 Forbes profile of Steyer says the billionaire in fact "usually" flies in "economy."
This in a world of billionaires who often fly on their own private jets. "It is obviously brutally expensive, but time is the one asset we simply don't own. It saves me hours and hours," "Shark Tank" star and billionaire Mark Cuban told Men's Journal in 2016 about his decision to buy a plane.
According to Forbes, Steyer was also known for wearing one of eight "dated red wool plaid" ties every day — a style that he still sports.
Indeed, Steyer's letter of commitment to The Giving Pledge, an organization established by the billionaire buddies Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage billionaires to contribute the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes, reinforced Steyer's disinterest in the trappings of luxury and wealth.
Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, said they want enough money to provide education and "excellent healthcare" for their four children and family, "[b]ut otherwise, we enjoy our life here in California and don't require more material possessions. We want to leave our kids a different kind of inheritance, an example of at least trying to lead a worthy life."
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Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."