Andrew Viterbi

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Qualcomm, Viterbi Group 

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Health, Jewish Causes, San Diego Community

OVERVIEW: Andrew Viterbi and his late wife Erna, last decade, pledged $52 million to USC's engineering school, renaming it in their honor. Viterbi also supports select health organizations, particularly Rady Children's Hospital. Viterbi is also a strong backer of the Jewish community, and has given millions in grants to Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego. The family makes grants via their Viterbi Family Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, as well as separately from this organization. 

BACKGROUND: Andrew Viterbi was born to Jewish parents in Italy. He and his family fled the country in the late 1930s. Viterbi received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering from MIT and received a Ph.D. from USC. He worked at Raytheon and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Together with Irwin Jacobs, he co-founded Linkabit in 1968, and then Qualcomm in 1985. Viterbi discovered the Viterbi Algorithm, a mathematical system that is used in cellphones are the world. 


EDUCATION:  Viterbi's education philanthropy largely focuses on bolstering engineering at select higher education institutions where he has ties. Early last decade, Viterbi and his late wife Erna granted $52 million to Viterbi's alma mater, University of Southern California, which renamed the engineering school the Viterbi School of Engineering. Other philanthropy at USC has involved Jewish causes. The Viterbi family has also supported UCLA, where Viterbi has held academic appointments, and home to the Viterbi Family Program in Mediterranean Jewish Studies. American Society for Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is another important institution. In 2015, the Viterbi gave a $50 million gift to the institution to support electrical engineering and computer engineering. Viterbi's ties to Technion stretch back decades too, where he delivered a series of lectures.  

JEWISH CAUSES: Apart from Jewish institutions of higher learning, the Viterbi family also strongly supports the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego (JCF San Diego) where the Viterbis and another local family established the first family supporting foundations of JCF San Diego in 1997. Other past grantees include Birthright Israel, Jewish Family Service of San Diego, Israel Air Force Center Foundation, the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center Jacobs Family Campus and Moishe Foundation, which supports Moishe House, a "pluralistic international organization, provides meaningful Jewish experiences to young adults in their 20s."

HEALTH:  The Viterbi family have been strong supporters of Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. 

LOOKING FORWARD: In his 80s, Viterbi is still making his big gifts. Expect this to continue, with a strong bent towards higher education and the Jewish community. 


The Viterbi Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

The Viterbi Family Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego
4950 Murphy Canyon Road
San Diego, CA 92123 


Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego