Henry Hillman followed his father J.H. Hillman into the family business, Pittsburgh Coke & Chemical in 1946. When his father died in 1959, Henry bought his siblings' stakes and dismantled the business, selling it for parts and reinvesting the proceeds into real estate, private equity and venture capital. He was an early investor in both KKR and Kleiner Perkins. Today Hillman spends most of his time focusing on philanthropy. The $300 million (assets) Henry L. Hillman Foundation donates to philanthropic causes around his hometown Pittsburgh. In 2014 he gave $5 million to Carnegie Mellon for its brain research center and another $5 million to the University of Pittsburgh's Institute of Politics. He also donated $2.5 million to the Traffic21 Initiative to fund ideas about how to fix Pittsburgh's clogged roadways.