NET WORTH: unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Widow of NBC Executive Brandon Tartikoff, married to KB Homes CEO Bruce Karatz
FUNDING AREAS: Cancer, Arts
OVERVIEW: Tartikoff Karatz has devoted much of her time and energy to raising funds for cancer research.
BACKGROUND: Tartikoff Karatz attended the American School of Ballet on a dance scholarship and spent nine years as part of the NYC Ballet Company. In 1982, she married Brandon Tartikoff, then Chairman of Entertainment for NBC. Brandon Tartikoff suffered from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which first occurred when he was just 23.
By 1990, he was undergoing chemotherapy for the third time, finally succumbing to the disease in 1997. Experiencing her husband’s illness prompted Tartikoff to create a number of initiatives and events to raise funds for cancer research. According to some sources, Tartikoff has helped raise more than $80 million for the cause. In 2009, Lilly Tartikoff married Chairman CEO of KB Homes, Bruce Karatz, who has an extensive philanthropic record of his own.
CANCER RESEARCH: In 1990, Lilly Tartikoff teamed up with Revlon Chairman and CEO Ronald Perelman to create the Revlon/UCLA Breast Cancer Program; they created the Fire and Ice Ball to raise money for the program. By 1993, Tartikoff and Perelman were working with the Entertainment Industry Foundation to create the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women, an annual women’s cancer fundraiser that is still held in LA and New York every year. In 1997, she expanded her partnership with EIF, creating the National Women’s Cancer Research Alliance, bringing together a group of leading scientists from across the nation. Following that model, she worked with EIF and Katie Couric to found the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance in 2000, after Couric’s husband passed away from the disease.
ARTS & CULTURE: Lilly Tartikoff Karatz is on the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. It is worth mentioning that Bruce Karatz heads an organization called the Bruce Karatz Family Foundation with his children, which supports groups like MOCA and La Theatre Works.
LOOKING FORWARD: While Tartikoff Karatz has been a major force in cancer fundraising, there are plenty of other areas that may spark her interest. Her husband has been involved with rebuilding efforts in the wake of natural disasters, and in 2007, founded the Keep Your Home Foundation to support people in California facing foreclosure. He also sits on the board of Homeboy Industries, which offers support programs for former gang members and inmates, and the Phoenix House, which offers substance abuse treatment programs.
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