Eli Broad

 

Founder
The Broad Foundations

Eli Broad is a renowned business leader who is the only person to have built two Fortune 500 companies in two different industries from the ground up. Over his six-decade career in business, he founded and grew both SunAmerica Inc. and KB Home (formerly Kaufman and Broad Home Corporation).

Today, Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, are devoted to philanthropy as founders of The Broad Foundations, which they established to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. The Broad Foundations, which include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation, have assets of $3 billion. Over the course of their lifetimes, the Broads have donated more than $4 billion.

The Broad Foundation’s major education initiatives include The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, which honors the top-performing charter network in the country, and The Broad Center, a nonprofit that seeks to prepare strong leaders of public school systems through its two initiatives, The Broad Academy and The Broad Residency in Urban Education.

The Broad Foundation also invests in advancing innovative scientific and medical research in the areas of human genomics, stem cell research and inflammatory bowel disease. Their largest investment to date is $800 million to create and endow The Eli and Edythe Broad Institute for biomedical research, formed in 2003 by an unprecedented partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and the Whitehead Institute. The Broad Institute has become the world’s leading genomics research center.

The Broads have supported the advancement of stem cell research, particularly in California, where they have given $80 million to create and support the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of Southern California, the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of California, Los Angeles and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of California, San Francisco.

Over the past five decades, the Broads have built two of the most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art worldwide: The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection and The Broad Art Foundation. The two collections together include approximately 2,000 works by nearly 200 artists. Since 1984, The Broad Art Foundation has operated an active “lending library” of its extensive collection. To date, The Broad Art Foundation has made more than 8,500 loans of artwork to over 500 museums and university galleries worldwide.

In August 2010, the Broads announced plans to build and endow a contemporary art museum and headquarters for The Broad Art Foundation on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The new museum, called The Broad and designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, opened to the public with free general admission on Sept. 20, 2015. Since its opening, the museum has welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors who are younger and more diverse than the typical museum-going audience.

Mr. Broad was the founding chairman and is a life trustee of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, to which The Broad Foundation gave a $30 million challenge grant in December 2008 to rebuild the museum’s endowment and to provide exhibition support. He is a life trustee of The Museum of Modern Art in New York and of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where the Broads gave a $60 million gift to build the Renzo Piano-designed Broad Contemporary Art Museum, which opened in February 2008, and to fund an art acquisition budget. He is a life trustee of the Museum of Modern Art and LACMA, as well as a member of the Global Patrons Council of Art Basel.

Tireless advocates of Los Angeles, the Broads have championed the cultural and architectural vitality of the city. Committed to the belief that all great cities need a vibrant center, Mr. Broad was the visionary behind the development of Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, which will blend residential, retail, cultural and recreational uses into a civic centerpiece to rival the main boulevards of the world’s greatest cities. In 1996, Mr. Broad and then-Mayor Richard Riordan spearheaded the fundraising campaign to build the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, which opened to worldwide acclaim in October 2003. The Broads provided the lead gift to the Los Angeles Opera to create a production of Richard Wagner’s four-opera cycle, “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” that debuted in 2009-2010, and they gave an additional $7 million in 2013. They gave $10 million in 2008 to create an endowment for programming and arts education at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage and The Edye Second Space at the Santa Monica College performing arts center.

From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Broad served as a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution by appointment of the U.S. Congress and the President. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1994 was named Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion of Honor by the Republic of France. He received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2007 and the David Rockefeller Award from the Museum of Modern Art in March 2009. Eli and Edythe Broad were awarded the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership in October 2013. In 2016, Eli Broad was featured in the Time 100, and in 2017, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Philanthropy from Forbes Magazine, and was named to its 100 Greatest Business Minds.

Strong believers in higher education, the Broads have further extended their philanthropy to a number of universities across the country. The Broad Foundation made a major contribution to the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA for The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center. Mr. Broad is a life trustee at Caltech, where the Broads gave the cornerstone gift to create the Broad Center for the Biological Sciences and funded the creation of the Joint Center for Translational Medicine at Caltech and UCLA to advance experimental research into clinical applications. Mr. Broad has also served as chairman of the board of trustees of Pitzer College, where he is also a life trustee, and vice chairman of the board of trustees of the California State University system, where he is a trustee emeritus. He is also a member of the board of visitors executive committee of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and a member of Michigan State’s Frank S. Kedzie Society. He holds an honorary doctorate of law from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, an honorary degree of doctor of laws from the Southwestern University School of Law and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities from Michigan State University.

In 1991, the Broads endowed The Eli Broad College of Business and The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University (MSU), where Mr. Broad graduated cum laude in 1954. The Broads have given $33 million to create and endow the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU, a striking work of architecture designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize. The museum opened in 2012. The Broads have also endowed professorships at the California Institute of Technology, the UCLA School of Medicine and Michigan State University.

Mr. Broad’s first book, “The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking,” was published by Wiley in May 2012 and is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Washington Post bestseller.

The Broads reside in Los Angeles and have two grown sons.

November 2017