Lloyd Tevis: Da Vinci of venture capital
A man with a deceptively cheerful smile, Lloyd Tevis was an economic Renaissance man, a Da Vinci of mining, banking, farming, and, alongside William Chapman Ralston and James Ben Ali Haggin, one of California’s first and most successful venture capitalists. Hailing from Kentucky, via Philadelphia, Tevis arrived in California with the Argonauts in the Gold Rush and tried his hand in gold mining, but a short stint convinced him he could do better using his mind than his hands. He settled in Sacramento and established a fateful law firm with Haggin, a fellow Kentuckian. The two men complemented each other like a pair of new Bostonians – Tevis a shrewd negotiator and manipulator, Haggin the cold, hard-nosed and calculating analyst. As if to cement their unusual bond, one that would last for 49 years, Tevis married Susan Sanders, the daughter of Kentucky’s Colonel Sanders and Haggin’s sister-in-law.