Palantir CEO gave a personal donation of $180,000 to 81-year-old Vermont hermit David Lidstone to rebuild his burned-down home
David Lidstone, 81, known as “River Dave,” was arrested and jailed on July 15 for allegedly squatting on a property for nearly 30 years in Canterbury, New Hampshire. His shack was mysteriously burned down to the ground on August 4. The news of his arrest made local and national headlines and got the attention of Palantir Technologies CEO Alexander Karp.
Last week, Karp gave a personal donation of $180,000 check to Vermont hermit David Lidstone to rebuild his burned-down home. A spokesperson for the big data analytics company confirmed the donation to the Concord Monitor.
“How can I express myself and my gratitude towards something like that? I start to tear up whenever I think about it,” Lidstone told the Concord Monitor of Karp’s donation. “For an old logger who always had to work, for anyone to give you that type of money, it’s incredibly difficult for me to get my head around.”
There has been an outpouring of support from around the country for Mr. Lidstone since he was jailed on July 15. He told the Associated Press (AP) that he had received at least 20 relocation offers as far away as California before the personal donation from Palantir CEO.
In an interview with reporters, Mr. Lidstone said the former property owner had given him permission to live on the land. The current property owner, who learned of Lidstone from a town administrator in 2015, wanted him out, the AP reported. The judge ultimately granted Lidstone’s release from jail.
We’ve covered Palantir multiple times over the past four years. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Palantir Technologies was founded in 2003 by Peter Thiel, Nathan Gettings, Joe Lonsdale, Stephen Cohen, and Alex Karp. Palantir made its Wall Street Debut in September of last year with a valuation of over $20 billion.