Eli Broad, a philanthropist and self-made billionaire who used his fortune to reshape the culture of the city of Los Angeles, died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 87.
Broad built two Fortune 500 companies during his lifetime and played a role in funding and shaping institutions like the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. The businessman went on to build his own museum in the heart of LA, a city he loved and helped transform into a cultural capital.
A spokeswoman for the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation told The New York Times his death came after a lengthy illness.
The New York native chose California as his home and found massive success in the home construction and insurance industries. Forbes estimated his fortune at $6.9 billion.
Broad bought his first real estate at 20, before co-founding Kaufman & Broad in 1957 with a $12,500 loan from his in-laws, according to Forbes. The home builder became one of the biggest in the nation to provide affordable housing. Broad also found success when he bought Sun Life Insurance, then later sold it for $18 billion in stock in 1998.
In the 1970s, Broad was named fouding chairman of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and in 2008, he saved the institution from collapse with a $30-million grant.
He worked with developers to transform Los Angeles’ Grand Avenue into a cultural hub, alive with hotels, restaurants, a park, and his own museum.
Broad and his wife, Edythe, were avid art collectors and enthusiasts. They opened the Broad Museum in LA in 2015, which offers free admission to fellow art appreciators to view works from the couple’s collection of more than 2,000 works.
Through two foundations, the couple supported medical research, public education, and the visual and performing arts. Their foundations have pledged and given away over $4 billion in grants, Forbes reported.
“There’s no curtain you can’t get through in Los Angeles – no religious curtain, no curtain about where you came from,” Mr. Broad told The Times in 2001. “It’s a meritocracy, unlike some other cities. If you have ideas here, if you have energy, you’ll be accepted. I love LA.”
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According to Axios, Mondale contacted Presidents Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter on Sunday to let them know his death was near. Mondale passed away in Minneapolis, according to his family.
Biden long admired Mondale, whose nickname was “Fritz.” At an event honoring Mondale in 2015, Biden said, “I took Fritz’s roadmap. He actually gave me a memo, classic Fritz, gave me a memo, as to what I should be looking for and what kind of commitments I should get to be able to do the job the way Fritz thought it should be done.”
Mondale’s political life spanned decades, starting with his career as a lawyer and serving as Minnesota’s attorney general, and including a later stint as an ambassador to Japan under President Clinton.
Before serving as Carter’s vice president, Mondale served as a US Senator from Minnesota and wrote a book in 1975, titled, “The Accountability of Power: Toward a More Responsible Presidency.”
After their term together, on November 4, 1980, Carter and Mondale lost their reelection campaign to former President Ronald Reagan and then running-mate George H.W. Bush.
In 1984, Mondale would run again, this time securing the Democratic nomination for president and choosing the first female running mate on a general election ticket, New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro. Mondale and Ferraro were defeated by Reagan and Bush in 1984. They won only one state, Mondale’s home state, and the District of Columbia. It was the most lopsided general election defeat in US history, and when Mondale at the 1984 Democratic convention, Mondale said, “Let’s tell the truth… Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you, I just did.” The line infamously helped cement the eventual election defeat.
With a staunch commitment to liberal politics and deep involvement with Carter’s decision-making domestically and internationally, Mondale is considered to have transformed the role of the vice presidency.
After news of Mondale’s passing broke on Monday, Carter issued a statement calling Mondale, “the best vice president in our country’s history.”
He was 82. Madoff apparently died of natural causes in federal prison, according to an AP source. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Madoff.
Born in New York City in 1938, Madoff founded a stock brokerage in 1960 that eventually became Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. The firm specialized in over-the-counter penny stocks, using pink sheet quotes to make markets for traders. Madoff’s brokerage then moved on to computerized trades, employing information technology to organize quotes. The digital market-making service went on to underpin the NASDAQ exchange.
The brokerage bypassed traditional exchange firms to allow traders to directly order from retail brokers, and at one point served as the largest market maker at the NASDAQ. Madoff served as a NASDAQ director for three single-year terms.
The financier developed close friendships with major players in the financial sector and used his network to spark what became the largest case of financial fraud in US history. Madoff signed on numerous wealthy friends as investors in his firm offered hefty compensation, and garnered recommendations on other investors to fold into the venture. He also warmed up to financial industry regulators, building up the brokerage as a prestigious and respected firm in the lucrative sector. Wealthier and wealthier financiers were drawn into the business seeking the prestige that emanated from Madoff’s firm.
The garnering of new capital kicked off Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. New investments would pay off those having already joined, and new clients were encouraged to attract more investors. The scheme granted major profits to those who joined the firm early and eventually drove billions of dollars in losses for the majority of clients who worked with Madoff’s business later on.
No major Wall Street firms invested with Madoff, as they suspected his operations were not legitimate. Others pointed to Madoff’s three-person team as proof that the firm couldn’t pull in the massive gains they posted.
Investigators estimated that Madoff’s scheme began in the early 1980s. The Securities and Exchange Commission conducted several investigations into the business but failed to find any evidence of malpractice. The Central Bank of Ireland missed any warning signs when Madoff’s multibillion-dollar fraud began using Irish funds to pad returns.
Madoff was arrested in New York in December 2008 after a whistleblower – who was later identified as one of his sons – said the financier was failing to pay off $7 billion to his clients. Many of Madoff’s business partners looked to pull their funds from the business in December as the global financial crisis prompted mass fear around the financial industry’s validity. Madoff sought to pay out $173 million in bonuses to his closest partners, but when his sons caught wind of the rewards and confronted their father, he admitted that the entire firm was “just one big lie” and “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme.”
Madoff’s sons reported their father to federal authorities, and the disgraced financier was arrested and charged with securities fraud on December 11, 2008. He pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies on March 12, 2009, including securities fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and perjury.
District Court Judge Denny Chin sentenced Madoff to 150 years in federal prison on June 29, 2009. Madoff’s lawyers asked the judge to shorten the sentence to 7, and later 12, years due to his limited life expectancy, but Chin ruled the sentence was appropriate, calling Madoff’s crimes “extraordinarily evil.”
The size of Madoff’s fraud varies from estimate to estimate. Early investigators pegged the fraud’s total value at $65 billion, while trustees of assets seized Irving Pickard estimated the amount owed to victims was roughly $57 billion. Former SEC chair Harvey Pitt noted the fraud likely involved between $10 billion and $17 billion.
Pickard was tasked with recovering funds lost in the scheme and returning them to investors. He and his team have already recovered more than $13 billion in lost funds, roughly three-quarters of approved claims, by suing those who profited from Madoff’s scheme.
The US government announced in November 2017 it would begin paying out $772.5 million to more than 24,000 victims of Madoff’s scheme.
Lee Delaney, President and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club, died Thursday at age 48 of “presumed natural causes,” the company said Friday.
“We are shocked and profoundly saddened by the passing of Lee Delaney,” board chairman Christopher Baldwin said. “Lee was a brilliant and humble leader who cared deeply for his colleagues, his family and his community. We extend our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to his family, especially his wife and two children,”
“We will honor his legacy and remember the extraordinary impact he had on so many. Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time,” he continued.
Bob Eddy, executive vice president and chief administrative and financial officer, will serve as interim CEO, and Baldwin has been appointed as executive chairman, the company said.
Delaney joined BJ’s in 2016, and was named president of the wholesale chain in 2019. He earned a degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University before joining Deloitte Consulting and Bain & Company.
“Lee’s strategic vision and leadership have been instrumental in transforming BJ’s Wholesale Club,” Baldwin said of Delaney in 2019 when he was promoted to president. “Under Lee’s leadership, the new organization will build on our progress as we continue our transformation, driving long-term, profitable growth. I look forward to continuing to partner with Lee to transform BJ’s Wholesale Club.”
BJ’s Board of Directors plans to announce permanent leadership changes “within a reasonably short timeframe, aided by our prior succession planning,” the company said.
Kent Taylor, the founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse, known for his deep care for workers and entrepreneurial spirit, died Thursday at age 65, the company said.
Taylor founded the Lone Star State-themed steakhouse – famous for its loyal fans, free peanuts, and unlimited rolls and butter – in 1993. In the decades since, he “dedicated himself to building it into a legendary experience for ‘Roadies’ and restaurant guests alike,” the restaurant’s lead director Greg Moore said in the statement.
“He was without a doubt, a people-first leader,” Moore said, noting that Taylor forfeited his compensation package amid the COVID-19 pandemic in support of his workers. “His entrepreneurial spirit will live on in the company he built, the projects he supported and the lives he touched.”
The company did not specify a cause of death.
Taylor was the visionary behind the company’s partner model and its mission of “Legendary Food and Legendary Service,” Jefferies analyst Andy Barish said in a note. The restaurant chain, which now has more than 600 locations across the country, went public in 2004. Since then, its “unending focus on delivering a quality experience with great value has made it one of the most consistent casual dining companies overall,” Barish said.
Throughout his career, Taylor received many accolades, including becoming a member of the Kentucky Business Hall of Fame and being named the 2014 Operator of the Year by Nation’s Restaurant News, Pitchbook said.
He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina, which he attended on a track scholarship. Before founding his restaurant, he worked at KFC, Bennigan’s, and Hooters of America, according to Pitchbook.
Taylor’s successor as CEO will be President Jerry Morgan, the company said, adding that Morgan will be key in helping the business move forward “after such a tragic loss.” Morgan has worked at Texas Roadhouse for 23 years.
In a tweet, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Taylor was a “maverick entrepreneur who embodied the values of never giving up and putting others first.”
“Louisville lost a much loved and one-of-a-kind citizen with Kent Taylor’s passing today,” Fischer said. “Kent’s kind and generous spirit was his constant driving force whether it was quietly helping a friend or building one of America’s great companies.”
Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell said Taylor didn’t fit the “mold of a big-time CEO.” He built his company taking bold risks and using creativity and grit, McConnell said. But most of all, he cared about his team.
“When the pandemic threw everything into uncertainty last year, there was no question what Kent would do,” McConnell said. “Like always, he put his people first. He dug deep into his own pockets and covered healthcare and bonuses for thousands all while keeping his stores open to make sure workers got paychecks when they needed them most. These were acts of extraordinary leadership that were all very ordinary for Kent.”
Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, a titan of American academia, business and diplomacy who spent most of the 1980s trying to improve Cold War relations with the Soviet Union and forging a course for peace in the Middle East, has died. He was 100.
Shultz died Saturday at his home on the campus of Stanford University, where he was a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution, a think tank, and professor emeritus at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
The Hoover Institution announced Shultz’s death on Sunday. A cause of death was not provided.
A lifelong Republican, Shultz held three major Cabinet positions in GOP administrations during a lengthy career of public service.
He was labor secretary, treasury secretary and director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Richard M. Nixon before spending more than six years as President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state.
Shultz was the longest serving secretary of state since World War II and had been the oldest surviving former Cabinet member of any administration.
Condoleezza Rice, also a former secretary of state and current director of the Hoover Institution, praised Shultz as a “great American statesman” and a “true patriot.”
“He will be remembered in history as a man who made the world a better place,” she said in statement.
Shultz had largely stayed out of politics since his retirement, but had been an advocate for an increased focus on climate change. He marked his 100th birthday in December by extolling the virtues of trust and bipartisanship in politics and other endeavors in a piece he wrote for The Washington Post.
Coming amid the acrimony that followed the November presidential election, Shultz’s call for decency and respect for opposing views struck many as an appeal for the country to shun the political vitriol of the Trump years.
“Trust is the coin of the realm,” Shultz wrote. “When trust was in the room, whatever room that was — the family room, the schoolroom, the locker room, the office room, the government room or the military room — good things happened. When trust was not in the room, good things did not happen. Everything else is details.”
Shultz had a lengthy track record in academia, public service, and business
Over his lifetime, Shultz succeeded in the worlds of academia, public service, and corporate America, and was widely respected by his peers from both political parties.
After the October 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 soldiers, Shultz worked tirelessly to end Lebanon’s brutal civil war in the 1980s. He spent countless hours of shuttle diplomacy between Mideast capitals trying to secure the withdrawal of Israeli forces there.
The experience led him to believe that stability in the region could only be assured with a settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and he set about on an ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful mission to bring the parties to the negotiating table.
Although Shultz fell short of his goal to put the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel on a course to a peace agreement, he shaped the path for future administrations’ Mideast efforts by legitimizing the Palestinians as a people with valid aspirations and a valid stake in determining their future.
As the nation’s chief diplomat, Shultz negotiated the first-ever treaty to reduce the size of the Soviet Union’s ground-based nuclear arsenals despite fierce objections from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to Reagan’s “Strategic Defense Initiative” or Star Wars.
The 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was a historic attempt to begin to reverse the nuclear arms race, a goal he never abandoned in private life.
“Now that we know so much about these weapons and their power,” Shultz said in an interview in 2008, “they’re almost weapons that we wouldn’t use, so I think we would be better off without them.”
Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, reflecting in his memoirs on the “highly analytic, calm and unselfish Shultz,” paid Shultz an exceptional compliment in his diary: “If I could choose one American to whom I would entrust the nation’s fate in a crisis, it would be George Shultz.”
George Pratt Shultz was born Dec. 13, 1920, in New York City and raised in Englewood, New Jersey. He studied economics and public and international affairs at Princeton University, graduating in 1942. His affinity for Princeton prompted him to have the school’s mascot, a tiger, tattooed on his posterior, a fact confirmed to reporters decades later by his wife aboard a plane taking them to China.
At Shultz’s 90th birthday party, his successor as secretary of state, James Baker, joked that he would do anything for Shultz “except kiss the tiger.” After Princeton, Shultz joined the Marine Corps and rose to the rank of captain as an artillery officer during World War II.
He earned a Ph.D. in economics at MIT in 1949 and taught at MIT and at the University of Chicago, where he was dean of the business school. His administration experience included a stint as a senior staff economist with President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisers and as Nixon’s OMB director.
Shultz was president of the construction and engineering company Bechtel Group from 1975-1982 and taught part-time at Stanford University before joining the Reagan administration in 1982, replacing Alexander Haig, who resigned after frequent clashes with other members of the administration.
A rare public disagreement between Reagan and Shultz came in 1985 when the president ordered thousands of government employees with access to highly classified information to take a “lie detector” test as a way to plug leaks of information. Shultz told reporters, “The minute in this government that I am not trusted is the day that I leave.” The administration soon backed off the demand.
A year later, Shultz submitted to a government-wide drug test considered far more reliable.
A more serious disagreement was over the secret arms sales to Iran in 1985 in hopes of securing the release of American hostages held in Lebanon by Hezbollah militants. Although Shultz objected, Reagan went ahead with the deal and millions of dollars from Iran went to right-wing Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua. The ensuing Iran-Contra scandal swamped the administration, to Shultz’s dismay.
In 1986 testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he lamented that “nothing ever gets settled in this town. It’s not like running a company or even a university. It’s a seething debating society in which the debate never stops, in which people never give up, including me, and that’s the atmosphere in which you administer.″
Under Reagan, Shultz set the record for longest-serving secretary of state
After Reagan left office, Shultz returned to Bechtel, having been the longest-serving secretary of state since Cordell Hull under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
He retired from Bechtel’s board in 2006 and returned to Stanford and the Hoover Institution.
In 2000, he became an early supporter of the presidential candidacy of George W. Bush, whose father had been vice president while Shultz was secretary of state. Shultz served as an informal adviser to the campaign.
Shultz remained an ardent arms control advocate in his later years but retained an iconoclastic streak, speaking out against several mainstream Republican policy positions. He created some controversy by calling the war on recreational drugs, championed by Reagan, a failure and raised eyebrows by decrying the longstanding U.S. embargo on Cuba as “insane.”
He was also a prominent proponent of efforts to fight the effects of climate change, warning that ignoring the risks was suicidal.
A pragmatist, Shultz, along with former GOP Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, made headlines during the 2016 presidential campaign when he declined to endorse Republican nominee Donald Trump after being quoted as saying “God help us” when asked about the possibility of Trump in the White House.
Shultz was married to Helena “Obie” O’Brien, an Army nurse he met in the Pacific in World War II, and they had five children. After her death, in 1995, he married Charlotte Maillard, San Francisco’s protocol chief, in 1997.
Shultz was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1989.
Survivors include his wife, five children, 11 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.
Longtime AP Diplomatic Writer Barry Schweid, who died in 2015, contributed to this report.