News and analysis
February 06, 2012

No. 15: John E. and Marion Anderson

John E. and Marion Anderson

Amount donated in 2011: $80-million

Biggest beneficiary: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Other key beneficiary: University of California at Los Angeles, John E. Anderson School of Management

Donors’ background: Mr. Anderson was president of Topa Equities, a holding company in Los Angeles with interests in auto dealerships, beer distribution, insurance, manufacturing, and real estate.

Mr. Anderson, who was 93 when he died last year, and his wife, Marion, pledged $55-million to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Of the total, $50-million will support a new hospital building, the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion, which opened in the summer of 2011. The remaining $5-million will pay for a pedestrian bridge to connect medical center buildings. The couple announced the pledge before Mr. Anderson died, and it will be paid over the next five years. Mrs. Anderson has served on the hospital’s Board of Trustees since 1989.

She said it was through her many years as a board member that she saw what a difference a comfortable hospital experience could make to a child’s recovery. so that’s why the couple wanted the new building to have both state-of the-art-facilities and amenities for children and families.

“By providing private rooms for the parents to spend the night with their child, we see more families having quality time together, a calmer atmosphere, and less overall noise on the units, which translates into less need for medication and fewer hospitalization days,” Mrs. Anderson wrote to The Chronicle.

The couple also pledged $25-million last year to UCLA’s graduate school of management, which was named for Mr. Anderson in 1987 when they donated $15-million. Mr. Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the university in 1940. Counting this recent pledge, the couple has given the university a total of $42-million over the years. —Maria Di Mento

View more profiles of donors who gave the most in 2011