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Don Valentine in 2013, at TechCrunch Disrupt conference. Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Don Valentine, founder of venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, died Friday at the age of 87.

Why it matters: Valentine was one of Silicon Valley's original tech startup investors, including early bets in Apple, Atari, Cisco Systems and Oracle.

"Don’s life is woven into the fabric of Silicon Valley. He shaped Sequoia and left his imprint not just on those of us who had the privilege to work with him or the many philanthropic institutions that invested with Sequoia, but also on the founders and leaders of some of the most significant technology companies of the later part of the twentieth century."
— Doug Leone, global managing partner of Sequoia Capital

Upon founding Sequoia Capital in 1972, Valentine chose a firm name that reflected longevity, and later handed over control to Leone and Mike Moritz without asking for any compensation. The idea, Leone later told me, was that the firm and its earnings belong to those who presently run it, not those who previously did.

Valentine is survived by his wife Rachel, three children and seven grandchildren.

  • The family asks that in lieu of flowers any donations go to the Donald T. Valentine Memorial Fund at Stanford University.
  • A memorial service is still being arranged.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

4 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.