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Businessman, philanthropist, founder of the vast museum was 87 years old – Deadline

Businessman, philanthropist and art collector Eli Broad, who has left an indelible mark on the Los Angeles cultural scene, has died today at the age of 87.

Broad died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a long illness, according to Suzi Emmerling, spokesperson for the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.

Broad made his fortune building single family homes. Originally from New York, he turned a loan from his in-laws into a home building empire. He and Donald Bruce Kaufman founded KB (Kaufman & Broad) Homes in Detroit in 1956, when Broad was barely 20 years old. The company has grown into the largest independent builder of single-family homes in the United States. He built over 600,000 homes in the post-war boom, many of them in Southern California. He later bought Sun Life Insurance, turning it into a SunAmerica annuity giant. He sold it for $ 18 billion in stock in 1998. He was the first to develop two Fortune 500 companies in different industries.

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According to The Los Angeles Times, Broad attempted to buy the newspaper and the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2015, “saying he thought the newspapers should be owned by a Californian,” but the effort failed.

Forbes listed his wealth in his 2021 ranking of the world’s billionaires at $ 6.9 billion.

For decades, Broad and his wife Edythe have maintained foundations that have combined assets of $ 3 billion. The foundations support medical research, public education, and the visual and performing arts, and have provided more than $ 4 billion in donations. Broad retired from foundation management in 2017.

According to The New York Times, Broad’s interest in the collection began when Edythe began purchasing works from the galleries of La Cienega. He quickly joined her.

One of his most enduring contributions to Los Angeles is, of course, The Broad Downtown, which houses his art and charges no admission to the public.

Broad has been a force in the redevelopment of downtown Los Angeles, especially Grand Avenue, which is linked to its museum, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Grand Park. Broad was instrumental in opening the park in 2012.

Even before The Broad, he was one of the nation’s greatest collectors and owned works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse and countless strong examples of contemporary art.

Broad was the founding president of MOCA and chaired the board until 1984. He led a $ 135 million fundraising campaign that helped build Disney Hall. He was a major benefactor of the Los Angeles Opera and The Broad Stage, a life administrator of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and liked to call Los Angeles a “cultural capital of the world”.

Broad is survived by his wife Edye and two sons Jeffrey and Gary.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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