Find out how Eli Broad and David Bohnett approach giving away billions.
Some shrink when they see him coming. Maybe it’s the height, the silver hair, the intelligent, piercing eyes. More likely it’s the power of the stride, the determination in the walk, the purpose in the direction. And yes, the eyes. They call him Eli, and everyone knows it’s that Broad guy. The story is public knowledge: Michigan accountant (youngest CPA in Michigan history, of course) whose multi-billon-dollar fortune started with housing (as in, the Broad in Kaufman & Broad) and then in insurance (SunAmerica). Also public knowledge is that Eli is all about giving away money with Edye, his wife of 54 years, through two foun-dations that have $2.1 billion in assets. Donating is Eli’s main occupation—a passion, actually, maybe even a compulsion. But he gives money the same way he makes it: carefully, thoughtfully and with a focus on effecting change throughout the worlds of science, art, medicine and education. Near and dear to his and Edye’s hearts are funding charter schools, improving compensation plans for teachers and bolstering the frontlines of stem-cell research. Put simply, they want to better people’s lives. From LA Times Magazine