Eli and Edythe Broad
Eli and Edythe Broad
Over decades of partnership, Eli and Edythe Broad built a groundbreaking philanthropic vision and brought it to life through their unwavering commitment to the public good. Driven by a deep sense of responsibility to give back and help solve pressing social issues by increasing access to educational opportunities, lifesaving scientific advances and the visual and performing arts, they co-founded The Broad Foundations, which include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation.
Raised in Detroit, Eli Broad was an entrepreneur who built two Fortune 500 companies before turning his tenacious spirit to philanthropy. Also from Detroit, Edythe (known as Edye) cultivated an early love for art and education which would shape her conviction that access to public cultural institutions, libraries and schools is essential to a more equitable and thriving society. With unique insights into a changing post-War America, Eli founded homebuilder KB Home (which would ultimately bring the couple and their young family to Los Angeles) and the financial services giant SunAmerica Inc.
From humble beginnings and grounded in a family orientation toward community, engaging in civic life and philanthropic activities was core to who they are: starting in the late 1960s, just a decade into their marriage, they established The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation as a platform for giving. Inspired by their firsthand experience attending a strong public school system, the Broads focused on transforming and expanding access to high-quality public K-12 education through initiatives like The Broad Prize and The Broad Center (now a program of the Yale School of Management), which develops leaders in public education.
Through a sense of urgency to support scientific innovation that could transform medicine and save lives, the Broads established the Broad Medical Research Program (now a program of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America), the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for cutting-edge genomics research and initiatives at UCLA, USC and UC San Francisco in stem cell research. With Los Angeles as their adopted hometown, the Broads were a driving force in transforming the City, including the development of Grand Avenue as a center for culture and commerce, supporting an increase in the city’s minimum wage, advocating for gun safety, providing free tuition for community college, strengthening the local nonprofit sector and advancing major cultural institutions including Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA and the BroadStage.
Their commitment to the arts culminated with the opening of The Broad museum in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, which presents the Broads’ acclaimed collection of contemporary art free to the public. Through the years, the Broads and The Broad Foundations have given more than $4 billion to education, science, the arts and their adopted hometown of Los Angeles. They were among the first people to sign the Giving Pledge, committing to donate 75% of their wealth during their lifetimes. Eli and Edye’s ability to merge their moral conviction, their vision for a brighter future and their belief in the power of philanthropy is an inspiration to the next generation of changemakers.