NET WORTH: $1.32 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Jones Group; Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
FUNDING AREAS: Cancer Research, Jewish Continuity, Medicine, Philadelphia
OVERVIEW: Sidney Kimmel waded into philanthropy in the 1990s, when he established the Sidney Kimmel Foundation and its subsidiary, the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research. Since this time, Kimmel has committed some $850 million to various causes, with around $550 going to cancer research alone.
BACKGROUND: Sidney Kimmel was born and raised in Philadelphia. He attended Temple University, but didn't complete his studies. In 1970, Kimmel founded and became president of Jones Apparel 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. In 2004, Kimmel founded Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, a finance and production company, behind such films as United 93, and Lars and the Real Girl.
CANCER RESEARCH & MEDICINE: In 2001, A $150 million gift by the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research established the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Kimmel has been supporting cancer research for years, in part because a friend's 25-year-old daughter passed away from cancer. In 1994, Kimmel donated $10 million to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital's Kimmel Cancer Center. Two years later, he served as National Chairman of “The March” in Washington, D.C., a program that resulted in a federal funding increase of $400 million for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Other major gifts by Kimmel in this area include a $27 million effort over 10 years toward the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego (which has since filed for bankruptcy), and $25 million to create the Sidney Kimmel Center for Prostate and Urologic Cancers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
In 2016, Kimmel partnered with Michael Bloomberg to give $100 million to establish the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute of Cancer Immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins.
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 300 recipients of these awards as of this writing.
Apart from cancer research, another gift to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital created the Sidney Kimmel Laboratory for Preventive Cardiology.
PHILADELPHIA: Kimmel created the The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. A $5 million gift created the National Constitution Center. Kimmel has also given millions to the Philadelphia Orchestra. He's also supported the Curtis Institute for Music, and the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, among others.
JEWISH CONTINUITY: Kimmel has been a longtime supporter of the Jewish community, with his foundation giving a $5 million gift to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He's also given at least $25 million to the Raymond and Ruth Perelman Jewish Day School in the Philadelphia area, gifts totaling $25 million to Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and another $25 million to National Museum of American Jewish History.
LOOKING FORWARD: These days, most of Kimmel's money goes toward supporting the outfits he's already established at sites such as Johns Hopkins, and towards the Kimmel scholarship program. It's worth noting that recent philanthropy at University of Missouri has supported clean energy research.