Billionaire gives $100 million to Central Park

NEW YORK -- A billionaire hedge fund manager has pledged $100 million to the private organization that maintains Central Park in partnership with New York City.

John A. Paulson's gift to the Central Park Conservancy announced Tuesday is believed to be the largest gift ever to a public park.

Paulson said Central Park is the most democratic of all New York's great cultural institutions. He said his donation will benefit all New Yorkers.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Paulson's gift will ensure that the park remains a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city.

The 56-year-old Paulson is the founder and president of Paulson & Co. He is a native of Queens and a graduate of the Harvard Business School.

The pledge will be paid out by Paulson and his Paulson Family Foundation.