Broad, Eli

Broad, Eli, 1933-2021, American financier and philanthropist, Bronx, N.Y., Michigan State College (BA, 1954). Broad was the son of poor Lithuania-Jewish immigrants; his family moved to Detroit, Mi., when he was seven years old. After graduating college with a degree in accounting. he in that field for a period of time, and then formed a partnership with his brother-in-law to build inexpensive housing, beginning in Detroit but then expanding to Phoenix and Los Angeles. The firm purchased an insurance company, Sun Life, in 1971, which Broad later sold to the American International Group for $18 billion. With a lifelong interest in contemporary art, he supported several museums in Los Angeles, his adopted home, including The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and founded his own Broad Museum. He also was a major donor to medical research and cultural institutions, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, in the city, and led an effort to revialitize its downtown. His two foundations, The Broad Art Foundation and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation (supporting education, science, and medicine), have estimated assets of $2.4 billon. In 2019, Forbes magazine ranked him as the 78th wealthiest person in the U.S., whose estimated net worth was $6.7 billion.

See his memoir, The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking (2012).

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