Photograph of Eli Broad
Eli Broad | Credit: The Broad Foundation

Remembering philanthropist and center benefactor Eli Broad

The entrepreneur, philanthropist and transformative champion of science, education and the arts, passed away on April 30, 2021 at the age of 87
By Tiare Dunlap | May 04, 2021 Philanthropy

Eli Broad, entrepreneur, philanthropist and transformative champion of science, education and the arts, passed away on April 30, 2021 at the age of 87.

Along with his wife of more than 60 years, Edythe, Eli founded the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation in 1999 to pursue entrepreneurship for the public good. Through the Foundation, Eli and Edythe devoted their multi-billion dollar fortune to improving public schools, sharing contemporary art with the public and supporting leading-edge biomedical research aimed at improving human health.

Ever the entrepreneur, Eli approached his philanthropic endeavors strategically, seeking out opportunities to maximize the impact his giving could have on future generations. One such opportunity that caught his attention was the passage of Proposition 71, which authorized the issuance of $3 billion in state bonds to provide funding for stem cell research and facilities throughout California. In 2007, the Broad Foundation made an initial investment of $65 million to create three Broad Stem Cell Research Centers at UCLA, UC San Francisco and the University of Southern California.

In recognition of the gift, our center, formerly known as the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at UCLA, was renamed the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA. Eli’s remarkable generosity enabled our growing center to recruit world-class researchers, secure sizable grants from external agencies and train hundreds of young scientists and clinicians through our Stem Cell Training Program. The Foundation’s continued support of the three California Broad Stem Cell Research Centers helped establish California as a worldwide leader in regenerative medicine.

The Broad Foundation’s support continues to enable our researchers to develop new, life-saving treatments for a range of diseases, from cancers to immune disorders, contribute breakthrough discoveries in basic science and create tools and technologies to advance their fields.

“Eli’s visionary philanthropic investment in stem cell research and regenerative medicine has had a global impact and touched countless lives,” said Dr. Owen Witte, founding director of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center. “Our center will be forever grateful to Eli, Edythe and the Broad Foundation for making us part of their legacy of transformative change.” 

Learn more about Eli Broad’s many accomplishments as a philanthropist and businessman here.