Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Venture capital and private equity are integral parts of America's economy, but neither has really been around for very long. It's something I've been reminded of over the past month, as several of the industries' founding fathers have passed.

Driving the news: Bill Macaulay in 1983 co-founded First Reserve, which would become the first global private equity firm focused exclusively on energy. Until 2017 he'd lead First Reserve, which has raised over $35 billion for its funds. Macaulay died last week at the age of 74, leaving behind wife Linda and daughters Elizabeth and Anne.

Frank Caufield and Brook Byers in 1977 teamed up with Eugene Kleiner and Tom Perkins to expand Kleiner Perkins into the legendary VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. His deals would include AOL and Caremark, and he'd serve as president of the National Venture Capital Association.

  • Caufield passed away shortly before Thanksgiving at the age of 80. He's survived by son Frank (founder of Darwin Ventures) and daughter Kirsten.

Pete Musser in 1953 founded what would become Safeguard Scientifics, an investment group that evolved its focus from industrials to Internet tech. It's one of those firms that would be much-better known if it wasn't based in the Philly suburbs, but its history included selling Ralph Roberts the first of the cable TV systems that would become Comcast, backing Novell, and seeding Internet Capital Group to dotcom-era prominence. It also was one of the original startup "incubators."

  • Mussser died in late November at the age of 90.

Don Valentine, the founder of Sequoia Capital and an early investor in companies like Apple and Cisco, passed away in late October.

Plenty of veteran firm founders remain not only alive, but very much healthy and in charge. But the truth is that we're rapidly losing institutional, foundational knowledge. History passing before our eyes.

Go deeper: Former Fed chairman Paul Volcker dies at 92

Go deeper

Updated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. EST: 32,135,220 — Total deaths: 981,660 — Total recoveries: 22,149,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m EST: 6,975,980 — Total deaths: 202,738 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats prepare new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package.
  4. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  6. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  7. Sports: Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic — Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  8. Science: Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China — During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
4 hours ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

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