NET WORTH: $800 million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: A&M Records
FUNDING AREAS: Health, Education, Environment & Animal Welfare, Los Angeles Community
OVERVIEW: Jerry Moss and his wife Ann give a million or more every year through the Moss Foundation, spreading money out pretty evenly among a number of different causes.
BACKGROUND: Jerry Moss grew up in the Bronx, received a degree in English from Brooklyn College, and served briefly in the army before moving to Los Angeles to become a music promoter. Teaming up with Herb Alpert, the two formed A&M Records. Releasing artists such as Carole King, Joe Cocker, and Peter Frampton, A&M became the world’s largest independent record label in less than a decade. It was eventually purchased by Polygram in 1989, netting Alpert and Moss a huge payday. Moss and Alpert continued to manage the label until 1993, and in 1998 sued Polygram for breaching the integrity clause in their contract, settling for an additional $200 million. In 2006, the pair was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their contributions to the music industry.
HEALTH: Grants in health run the gamut from organizations in Los Angeles providing local services to national organizations that focus on just about every type of disease imaginable. The Pediatric AIDS and Childhood Diabetes Foundations have been some of the biggest grantees, but the Mosses also support causes including Alzheimer’s, cancer research, and Huntington’s disease. On a local level, several community health centers and free clinics have received funding, along with City of Hope and the Rape Foundation. The couple has also supported the Painted Turtle Foundation, a camp for children with serious medical conditions.
EDUCATION: Most of Moss’s educational focus is in the Los Angeles area, and UCLA, Accelerated Charter Schools, and New Visions, which supports educational programs for underserved and at-risk youth in both Los Angeles and Nashville. On a national scale, they have supported organizations like Communities in Schools, the United Negro College Fund, and the Council for Exceptional Children, which provides professional development tools and publications for special needs teachers, and advocates on behalf of gifted children, as well as those with learning disabilities.
ENVIRONMENT & ANIMAL WELFARE: Moss’s wife Ann takes the lead on environmental causes. In 1989, she started a nonprofit called Dolphin Connection to fight for the rights of dolphins and whales. The couple has also given more than $75,000 to the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida, but their biggest grant in this area supports Global Green, an organization that promotes sustainability. Other organizations that have received funding include the Earth Island Institute, Oceana, and the Rainforest Foundation. It is worth noting that Moss and Ann are also long-time thoroughbred horse breeders and owners, and their horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Breeder’s Cup.
ARTS & CULTURE: The couple has supported a variety of arts organizations in the Los Angeles area, including the Hammer Museum, Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles Zoo, the Los Angeles Opera Company, and the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County. Select organizations outside Los Angeles have also received funding, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the San Juan Community Theater in Friday Harbor, Washington, and the Music Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
CIVIC ISSUES People for the American Way and the American Civil Liberties Union have received support. Other organizations receiving grants include the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, the Citizenship Education Fund, and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
LOOKING FORWARD: Moss has been relatively steady in his charity over the last 25 years, having made between $1.5 and $2.5 million in grants through his foundation nearly every year since 1990. Considering he is now in his 80s, however, we should expect to see some bigger grantmaking in the coming years.
The Moss Foundation does not provide a clear avenue to get in touch with the couple but below is an address
421 N. Beverly Drive, Ste. 260
Beverly Hills, CA 90210