Last Updated: April 24, 2023
Richest BusinessRichest Billionaires
Net Worth:
$7.2 Billion
Date of Birth:
Jun 6, 1933 - Apr 30, 2021 (87 years old)
Place of Birth:
Businessperson, Investor, Financier
United States of America
💰 Compare Eli Broad's Net Worth

What was Eli Broad's Net Worth?

Eli Broad was an American businessman and philanthropist who had a net worth of $7.2 billion at the time of his death. Over a five-decade business career, Eli Broad managed to build not one but TWO Fortune 500 companies; KB Home (formerly Kaufman & Broad), and SunAmerica. In 1957 he co-founded the home builder Kaufman and Broad Home Corporation using $25,000 borrowed from his in-laws. Kaufman & Broad (now KB Home) earned a reputation building as a type of housing that would appeal to a new generation of Detroit home buyers flocking to the suburbs. The company would eventually turn into one of the nation's biggest home builders. In 1971, Eli Broad purchased family-owned Sun Life Insurance. He transformed the company into a retirement savings powerhouse called SunAmerica. Broad sold SunAmerica in 1999 for $18 billion. He held the position of SunAmerica's CEO, currently a subsidiary of AIG, until 2000.

Later in life he and wife Edythe were dedicated to philanthropic causes. They donated billions to public education, medical research, and the visual and performing arts. He gave to many institutions, including his alma mater Michigan State University, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles Opera. The couple also opened a museum in LA called The Broad. On the scientific and medical front, Broad invested heavily in research for inflammatory bowel disease, genomics, and regenerative medicine. He also famously advocated for billionaires to pay more taxes. Eli Broad died on April 30, 2021 at the age of 87.

Early Life and Education

Eli Broad was born on June 6, 1933 in the Bronx borough of New York City to Lithuanian Jewish immigrants Rebecca and Leo. His father was a house painter, while his mother was a dressmaker. When Broad was six, he moved with the family to Detroit, Michigan, where his father did union organizing and owned five-and-dime stores. Broad attended Detroit Central High School, graduating in 1951. He went on to attend Michigan State University, where he majored in accounting. Broad graduated from MSU cum laude in 1954.

Career Beginnings

After graduating from college, Broad worked as an accountant for two years and taught night classes in accounting at the Detroit Institute of Technology. Wishing to launch his own business, he went on to found his own accounting firm. Broad was given office space from his relative Donald Kaufman in exchange for doing the books for Kaufman's homebuilding business. Doing that work, Broad was inspired to enter the homebuilding business himself. He subsequently partnered with Kaufman to do just that. The pair had a lucrative business in the Detroit area, with around 600 homes built within two years. In 1960, Broad and Kaufman relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, and a few years after that to Los Angeles, California. Kaufman eventually retired from the business, and Broad served as CEO until 1974.


In 1971, Broad acquired Sun Life Insurance Company of America for $52 million. He transformed the company into the retirement savings corporation SunAmerica, which eventually went public in 1989. In 1998, Broad sold the company to American International Group for $17.8 billion. He remained CEO of SunAmerica until 1999.

Eli Broad net worth

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Education Philanthropy

Broad began focusing on philanthropy full-time in the 21st century. With his wife, he created the Broad Foundations, through which he gave over $4 billion to support K-12 public education, medical research, and the visual and performing arts. In regard to education, Broad worked to expand opportunities for underserved students. He launched the Broad Prize, an annual award of $1 million to large urban school districts in the US; and the Broad Center, which supports and develops outstanding leaders in public education.

Broad also invested heavily in higher education. In 1970, he gave $10 million to Pitzer College, and a few years later became the chairman of the board. In 1991, Broad endowed the Eli Broad College of Business and the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management – both at his alma mater Michigan State University – with $20 million for a full-time MBA program. Also at MSU, he and his wife donated $28 million for the construction of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. He also gave to UCLA, where the Broad Art Center was constructed in 2000.

Arts Philanthropy

In the world of the arts, Broad was the founding chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, to which his foundation donated $30 million in 2008. He also gave $60 million to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Also in LA, the Broads donated $6 million to the Los Angeles Opera to mount a production of Richard Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen" for the 2009-10 season. They continued donating to the LA Opera over the years. In 2010, Broad announced that he would open a new contemporary art museum in Los Angeles. Five years later, the 120,000-square-foot museum, called the Broad, officially opened in Downtown LA.

Medical Philanthropy

Through his foundation, Broad has invested heavily in medical research. The foundation's first major investment was in the field of inflammatory bowel disease. Broad and his wife create a medical research program to fund innovative research for the treatment of the disease. Their foundation eventually expanded to cover genomics and stem cell research. In 2003, the Broads gave a $100 million founding gift to establish the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, which uses genomics to advance the understanding of human disease and lay the foundation for new therapies. They gave further large contributions to the Institute over the subsequent years, allowing it to become an independent nonprofit.

Among their other contributions, the Broads gave $30 million to help create the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of Southern California. Another center of the same name was created at UCLA. The Broads went on to establish a new headquarters for the center at the University of California, San Francisco in 2011. They also made a number of donations to fund research centers at Caltech.

Personal Life and Death

Broad married his wife Edythe Lawson in 1954. They had two children. In the early 1990s, the couple commissioned Frank Gehry to design their main residence in Brentwood, California.

Following an illness, Broad passed away on April 30, 2021 in Los Angeles. He was 87 years of age.

Malibu Mansion

In 1999, Eli and Edythe paid $5.65 million for two parcels of land in Malibu. They then commissioned Richard Meier to design a 5,400-square-foot waterfront mansion. They listed this home for sale in February 2020 for $75 million. The property sold for $51.65 million in June 2021, a few months after his death.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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