Profile of a ‘Quiet Philanthropist’: Bernard Osher

A “quiet philanthropist” is making his impact felt in big ways, reports The Christian Science Monitor.

The newspaper profiles Bernard Osher, a billionaire who made his fortune through banking and established a foundation that bears his name in 1977. In 2006 he gave his fund $732-million, which placed him as the third most-generous donor in The Chronicle’s annual survey of the largest donors in America.

Nearly 80 percent of grants from Mr. Osher’s foundation have gone to support educational programs. Seventeen percent support arts organizations.

Among the grants: $70-million in scholarships to California community-college students, and $16-million to the University of California at Berkeley’s Incentive Awards Program, which helps poor students attend the university.

Mr. Osher plans to give away his entire fortune, saying, “Although I have no heirs, I can enjoy the opportunity of helping members of several generations lead more fulfilling lives by my contributions.”

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