Marion Sandler, who teamed with her husband to build a Bay Area banking empire and then turned her focus to philanthropy, died Friday at her San Francisco home, the Associated Press and the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The former CEO of Golden West Financial Corp. was 81. Her family did not identify a cause of death but said Ms. Sandler had been ill for some time.
Starting in 1963 with two Oakland branches, Ms. Sandler and her husband, Herb, grew Golden West into a publicly traded company with 285 branches and 11,000 employees. After selling the firm to Wachovia in 2006 for $24-billion, they launched a family foundation and joined the ranks of the region’s biggest donors.
Among other initiatives, the Sandlers have given more than $100-million to the University of California at San Francisco, including $20-million last week for a new neuroscience center, and bankrolled ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit journalism organization.