Net worth: $1 billion
Source of wealth: Home building, financial services
Residence: Los Angeles
Sure Eli Broad is rich but why is he always on the A-list of L.A. society?
In a word, art.
Broad has a passion for collecting art and for making big donations to the arts. A founding member of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Broad is currently raising money for the Walt Disney Concert Hall and many consider him to be the driving force behind keeping the project alive. He, along with Mayor Richard Riordan and Music Center Chairman Andrea Van de Kamp, has set a goal of raising $100 million by June 30.
To date, he’s brought in $15 million from the Ralphs/Food 4 Less Foundation and Ron Burkle for construction of the downtown hall.
Broad got his start in home building in Michigan where, at age 23, he borrowed $25,000 from his in-laws and built his first home.
He moved to California in the early 1940s and founded Westwood-based Kaufman and Broad Corp. which became one of the country’s biggest home builders by marketing affordable homes to first-time buyers.
About 10 years ago, Broad diversified into the financial services field, founding SunAmerica Inc., a $44 billion company specializing in retirement savings.
Though generous when it comes to the arts, Broad apparently doesn’t consider the U.S. government to be a charity. The New York Times reported last December that Broad is among a growing number of wealthy investors using loopholes to shield their income from capital gains taxes.