Eli Broad dead at 87; billionaire spent big to reshape L.A.

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Eli Broad made his billions building homes, and then he used that wealth — and the considerable collection of world-class modern art he assembled with his wife — to shape the city around him.

Dogged, determined and often unyielding, he helped push and prod majestic institutions such as Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art into existence, and then, that done, he created his own namesake museum in the heart of Los Angeles.

With a fortune estimated by Forbes at $6.9 billion, the New York native who made California his home more than 50 years ago flourished in the home construction and insurance industries before directing his attention and fortune toward an array of ambitious civic projects, often setting the agenda for what was to come in L.A.

Active and still looking ahead until late in life, Broad died Friday afternoon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Suzi Emmerling, a spokesperson for the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, said in a statement. He was 87. A cause of death was not given.


"We join the city of Los Angeles in mourning the loss of Eli Broad. The city and the nation have lost an icon," Los Angeles Times Executive Chairman Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife, Michele, said in a statement.

"Eli's life story is an inspiration and a testament to the possibilities America holds," they said. "The Broads' support and leadership of the cultural, educational and medical institutions that sustain us have been transformative. Our thoughts are with Edye and their family and we're forever grateful to her and Eli."

Civic transformation was "his driving force," Barry Munitz, a longtime Broad associate and former chancellor of the California State University, told The Times in 2004.

Broad spent millions to endow medical and scientific research programs, including stem cell research centers at UCLA, USC, UC San Francisco and Harvard. He was also a deep-pocketed booster of public education reform who funded charter schools, a…
Elaine Woo
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