Milken became famous on Wall Street in the 1980s as head of the high yield bond department, also known as junk bond, in the now defunct company Drexel Burnham Lambert.
But Milken was accused of taking part in an insider trading program and ultimately pleaded guilty to numerous counts of security breaches related to a scandal with former stockbroker Ivan Boesky. He also paid a $ 600 million fine and was banned from the securities industry.
Since his release from prison in 1993, Milken, now 73 and a prostate cancer survivor, has become an important charitable donor to fund cancer research. It also launched the Milken Institute, one of the leading non-profit and non-partisan economic research companies that organizes a large conference every spring in which numerous A-listers in the world of finance participate.
In comments to reporters on Tuesday, Trump said that Milken “has done an incredible job for the world with all his research on cancer” and that “he suffered a lot. He paid a huge price.”
“We look forward to many more years to continue our efforts in medical research, education and public health,” added Milken.