Before Sidney Kimmel was a media mogul and founded Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, he was the founder of Jones Group, which is behind such brands as Jones New York, Anne Klein, and Nine West. By 1991, the Jones Group was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and Kimmel’s personal wealth began approaching $1 billion. It was around this time that Kimmel started wading into serious philanthropy, and established the Sidney Kimmel Foundation and its subsidiary, the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research.
Since then, Kimmel has contributed over $550 million to various causes, with cancer research being a top priority, something that we've talked about before.
Kimmel's interest in this area is at least partly personal, as his close friend's daughter passed away from cancer in her twenties. Kimmel's work in this area includes a $150 million gift that established the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, a $10 million gift which created Thomas Jefferson University Hospital's Kimmel Cancer Center, and $25 million to create the Sidney Kimmel Center for Prostate and Urologic Cancers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Not to mention, the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research also funds the Kimmel Scholars Program, which provides research grants to promising young cancer researchers. There have been nearly 250 recipients of these awards as of this writing, with recent support going to a New York University study titled “Structure and mechanism of PRC2 in health and cancer," and a University of Texas study called “Liquid Biopsies in advanced cancers with V600 BRAF mutations.”
While the big winner of Kimmel's money over the years has been cancer research, that's not all he's into. Here are a few other interests of this billionaire funder:
1. Kimmel Has Supported Other Areas of Health and Research
Apart from cancer research, another gift to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital created the Sidney Kimmel Laboratory for Preventive Cardiology. Kimmel has also given quite a bit of money to the University of Missouri, the site of the Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance (SKINR), whose aim is studying the effects of low-energy nuclear reactions. As Kimmel puts it: "Very much like my commitments to cancer research, I believe in investing for America’s future generations... This may be futuristic, but when it comes to energy, our future is now.”
2. Kimmel Also Supports Arts and Culture
Kimmel's philanthropy in this area focuses on his birthplace, Philadelphia. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts was created with a $35 million gift, and a $5 million gift created the National Constitution Center. Kimmel has also given millions to the Philadelphia Orchestra, and he is a longtime supporter of the National Museum of American Jewish History. He's also supported the Curtis Institute for Music, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.
3. Education is Also An Interest of Kimmel's
Kimmel has given at least $25 million to the Raymond and Ruth Perelman Jewish Day School in the Philadelphia area. Recent support has also gone to the UCLA Foundation. That's not to mention the $3 million that's gone out the door annually through the Kimmel Scholars program, with researchers at NYU, University of Colorado, Washington University, and California Institue of Technology being recent recipients.
Related: Sidney Kimmel Glitzy Giving Profile