Broad to halt his philanthropy efforts
LOS ANGELES — Eli Broad, a billionaire who has been a dominant figure in this city’s cultural, philanthropic, business and political world for almost 50 years, announced Thursday that he is stepping down from public life, saying that it was “time to move on.”
“I am retiring,” Broad, 84, said from his 30th-floor office at the Broad Foundations in Century City. “Now. Right now. I am just tired. I want to spend more time with my family. Catch up on my reading.”
It is difficult to overstate Broad’s importance to Los Angeles. He has been a confidant of mayors and governors, an aggressive advocate for charter schools and a heavy contributor to medical causes, particularly stem-cell research.
He has given away $4 billion of his $7.3 billion fortune. The endowment for the Broad Foundations, which is his main philanthropic arm, is $2.5 billion.
Broad has pledged to give away 75 percent of his fortune in his lifetime. He has, at times, been a polarizing figure, fighting with teachers unions over charter schools.
Although Broad said he considered the money given to education and medical research his biggest accomplishment, his contributions to the city’s art and cultural world may prove the most enduring legacy — particularly for Los Angeles’ now-thriving downtown.