Eli Broad is a renowned business leader who built two Fortune 500 companies from the ground up over a five-decade career in business. He is the founder of 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 $2.4 billion.
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation funds system-wide programs and policies that strengthen public schools by creating environments that allow good teachers to do great work and enable students of all backgrounds to learn and thrive. The Broad Foundation’s major education initiatives include the $1 million Broad Prize for Urban Education, The Broad Superintendents 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. In an unprecedented partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and the Whitehead Institute, the Broads in 2003 announced a $100 million founding gift to create The Eli and Edythe Broad Institute for biomedical research. The Institute’s aim is to realize the promise of the human genome to revolutionize clinical medicine and to make knowledge freely available to scientists around the world. They gave a second $100 million gift to The Broad Institute in 2005, and in 2008, they gave an additional $400 million to make the world’s leading genomics institute permanent.
Over the past four 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 more than 2,000 works by nearly 200 artists. Since 1984, The Broad Art Foundation has operated an active “lending library” of its extensive collection. Dedicated to increasing access to contemporary art for audiences worldwide, The Broad Art Foundation has made more than 8,000 loans of artwork to nearly 500 museums and university galleries worldwide.
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. In August 2010, the Broads announced plans to build a contemporary art museum and headquarters for The Broad Art Foundation on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The new museum, to be called The Broad, will be designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and is scheduled to open in early 2014.
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. 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. Mr. Broad serves on the board of the Future Generation Art Prize. He received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2007 and the David Rockefeller Award from the Museum of Modern Art in March 2009.
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 created the Broad Fellows Program in Brain Circuitry, 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.
In 2006, the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California announced the creation of the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. The Broads gave a major gift to UCLA for the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, which opened in 2010. In 2008, the Broads gave a major gift to the University of California, San Francisco for the new headquarters of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research. Mr. Broad has also served as chairman of the board of trustees of Pitzer College and vice chairman of the board of trustees of the California State University system.
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. In June 2007, the Broads announced a $26 million gift to create the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU, and they gave an additional $2 million to the project in January 2010. The museum will open in November 2012.
Mr. Broad is also a bestselling author with the publication of his first book, “The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking,” released by Wiley & Sons in May 2012.
The Broads reside in Los Angeles and have two grown sons. elibroad.com/biography/
Life Trustee, Board of Trustees, LACMA