Eli Broad

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Eli Broad is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the only person to build two Fortune 500 companies in different industries, KB Home, a homebuilding company, and SunAmerica, an insurance company. He is known for doing business in unusual ways, which has given him the reputation of being “completely unreasonable.” He thinks that he would never have been as successful as he is if he had stuck to the rules of business. He was born in the United States to Jewish immigrants from Lithuania. He grew up in a middle-class home. Even though he came from a poor family, he had big dreams from a young age. He did well in school and got his diploma from Detroit Central High School. He then went to Michigan State University to study accounting and economics. He had to work very hard to make money while he was still in school, and he did a lot of different jobs to make ends meet. After working for a few years, he decided to start his own business. He and a family member started KB Home, which was a very successful business. Because of how well it did, Broad bought Sun Life Insurance Company of America and changed it into SunAmerica. Together with his wife, he has been giving more of his time and energy to charitable work in recent years.

Early years and childhood

Eli Broad was born on June 6, 1933, in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City, U.S. He was the only child of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants who had moved there. His family didn’t have much money. His father was a house painter, and his mother made clothes. When Eli was six years old, his family moved to Detroit, Michigan.

He went to and graduated from Detroit Central High School in 1951. He then went to Michigan State University, where he studied accounting and economics as a minor. He graduated cum laude in 1954. As a college student, he had a number of jobs, such as selling shoes to women and running a drill press at Packard Motor. He also got his Certified Public Accountant credentials (CPA).

Eli Broad’s Career

After he finished his studies, he went to work as an accountant. In 1956, he was also an assistant professor of accounting at the Detroit Institute of Technology.

After working for a while as an accountant, he decided to start his own business, which was an accounting firm. Donald Kaufman, a relative of his wife’s, offered him office space in exchange for Broad doing the accounting work at Kaufman’s real estate company.

Broad and Kaufman got along well, so in 1957 they decided to work together to build houses. Broad borrowed some money from his wife’s parents to help pay for his share of the capital investment, and the two of them started the homebuilding company Kaufman & Broad (later shortened to KB Home).

Broad was in charge of getting the land and materials, and Kaufman was in charge of the design. Soon, the company was doing well, mostly because it designed and built affordable homes for people who were buying their first homes. Within two years, Kaufman & Broad had built 600 homes in the Detroit suburbs. Their designs were unique and good value for money.

The company grew in Arizona in 1962 and in California the next year. As their business grew, they decided to expand into international markets. In 1967, they were the first U.S. company to build homes in France.

In 1971, Broad bought Sun Life Insurance Company of America, which was owned by a family. He changed Sun Life into SunAmerica and turned it into a Fortune 500 company. In 1999, he sold SunAmerica to the American International Group (AIG) for $18 billion. He was CEO of SunAmerica until the year 2000.

Works of note

Eli Broad and Donald Kaufman started the company Kaufman & Broad in Detroit. Since then, they have built more than 550,000 homes. From 2000 to 2008, the company was on the Fortune 500 list. In 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2011, Fortune magazine named it “Most Admired Homebuilder.”

Awards & Achievements

In 1994, the Republic of France made him a Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion of Honor.
In 2007, he was given the Carnegie Medal for his charitable work.

In 2009, the Museum of Modern Art gave him the David Rockefeller Award.

Personal History and Legacies

He met Edythe “Edye” Lawson at Michigan State University, where they were both students, and fell in love with her. In 1954, they got married, and they had two children. They have been married for over 60 years and are still very happy.

Works for charity

Eli Broad and his wife Edythe started the Broad Foundations, which include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation, to promote entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science, and the arts.

The Broad Prize for Urban Education, which is worth $1 million, is one of the foundation’s most important education projects. Since 2002, high school seniors have been given $12 million in college scholarships through the Broad Prize.

Eli Broad is a trustee for the life of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, which received a $30 million challenge grant from The Broad Foundation in December 2008.
The Broads are part of “The Giving Pledge,” and they have promised to give away 75% of their wealth.

Estimated Net worth

In 2015, it was estimated that Eli Broad had a net worth of US$7.1 billion.