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Eli Broad, LA philanthropist for the arts and education, dies at 87


Eli Broad, an entrepreneur and businessman known for creating two billion-dollar businesses and establishing the iconic Broad Museum in Los Angeles, has died at the age of 87, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation said Friday.

“As a businessman, Eli saw around corners, as a philanthropist he saw the problems in the world and tried to fix them, as a citizen he saw the possibility in our shared community, and as a husband, father and friend he saw the potential in each of us,” the foundation’s president Gerun Riley said in a statement.

Broad amassed his wealth by creating two Fortune 500 companies in two different industries. He developed KB Home, a prominent real estate and development company, and launched insurance giant SunAmerica.

Broad was an avid philanthropist who committed more than $5 billion to support research, the arts and K-12 education. In addition to co-founding the Broad Museum, which houses an art collection of more than 2,000 pieces, Broad played a key role in developing the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. He also created various other institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Broad Institute, a genomic medicine research center.

Broad was born in the Bronx, New York, on June 6, 1933. He later moved to Los Angeles in 1963, where he worked to “make contemporary art and world-class architecture an essential part of life in Los Angeles for residents and visitors,” the Broad Foundation said in the press release. He was an avid supporter of the LA Opera and helped bring the Democratic National Convention to Los Angeles in 2000.

“Broad had unmatched influence and impact on the arts in Los Angeles, enriching public life and establishing Los Angeles as a global arts capital,” the foundation said.

Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas praised Broad on Friday for his support for a measure to address homelessness in Los Angeles.

He added: “He championed catalytic transformation in the arts and education fields, including creating countless opportunities for young people to advance in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

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

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