I've written before about the philanthropy of Apollo Global Management cofounders, including Leon Black and Antony Ressler, and for good reason: the private equity firm was founded in 1990 and has since soared, recently posting assets under management of around $163 billion. That kind of money tends to generate philanthropists. Black and Ressler are both on the Forbes billionaire list. Another billionaire Apollo co-founder we haven't discussed yet is 50-year-old Joshua Harris, who recently gave a multimillion-dollar gift in the Philadelphia area.
Harris, who was born into a Jewish family, graduated from Wharton and later received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He was a member of the Mergers and Acquisitions Group of Drexel Burnham Lambert and in 1990 helped found Apollo Global Management. He is currently worth $2.4 billion.
Harris established The Harris Family Charitable Foundation in 2013 with his wife Marjorie Rubin. So far, information about the foundation is limited. The only tax records available are from 2013, which indicate that the foundation held $10 million assets, but did not award any grants. The foundation doesn't maintain a web presence, but has at least two staff, including an Executive Director and a Program Manager, both of whom are Harvard grads like Harris.
An Idealist page set up for the foundation, meanwhile, states that the Harris Family Charitable Foundation seeks to "improve people's lives and unlock their potential by inspiring youth, strengthening communities, and promoting wellness and healthy living." The page also lists three focus areas of the foundation: youth and sports, health and wellness, and strengthening Israel. Harris, by the way, is an avid athlete and principal owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. He's also run in the New York City Marathon.
One indication of the grantmaking we can expect down the line is the Harris Family Charitable Foundation's recent $3.5 million gift to the Philadelphia Police Athletic League. The money will be dispersed over five years and will support a "variety of programs and administrative costs." Philadelphia PAL is an independent nonprofit where "where policemen are committed to helping children in the area." As Harris puts it, “PAL offers excellent programs that help thousands of young Philadelphians develop self-confidence, stay motivated in school, and play a positive role in their communities.”
Harris also serves on the boards of Mount Sinai Medical Center, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Considering the wealth waiting in the wings, Harris and Marjorie should be watched for greater giving down the line.