Edward and Cynthia DeBartolo

NET WORTH: $2.7 billion 

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation, San Francisco 49ers

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Health & Human Services, Arts & Culture, Tampa Bay Community

OVERVIEW: Edward and Cynthia DeBartolo and family give through the DeBartolo Family Foundation, which gave away around $731,000 in a recent year. The foundation's grantmaking is laser-focused on the Tampa Bay community; philanthropy includes student scholarships. 

BACKGROUND: Edward John DeBartolo Jr. was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and attended the University of Notre Dame. He joined the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation in 1971, a company founded by his father which developed the first enclosed shopping mall. DeBartolo served in various executive capacities and directed the company’s merger with Simon Property Group in 1996. He also owned the San Francisco 49ers for nearly 25 years spanning the 1980s and 1990s, the team's two winningest decades.


EDUCATION & YOUTH: The DeBartolo Family Foundation runs a scholarship program for high school seniors in Florida’s Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas or Polk counties, to assist with education at a university, community college or technical school. The program, established in 2001, recognizes students who have achieved academic excellence despite financial obstacles. In 2017, DeBartolo awarded over $100,000 in scholarships, with each recipient receiving $2,500 toward college expenses.

The foundation has supported A Kid's Place of Tampa Bay, Academy Prep for Education, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and St. Lawrence Catholic School.

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Grantees include All Children's Hospital Foundation, American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation, Crisis Center of Tampa, and Essilor Vision Foundation, which is "committed to eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences, and to providing underprivileged people the opportunity to live a better life through better sight."

ARTS & CULTURE: Grantees include Alliance for the Arts, Salvador Dali Museum, and Tampa Museum of Art.

TAMPA BAY COMMUNITY: Debartolo administers the Spirit of Humanity Award, which honors non-profit organizations that provide extraordinary assistance to Tampa Bay residents. The award is $25,000. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this billionaire family to remain laser-focused on the Tampa Bay community for now. The couple has three children, whose interests may be gauged when the family's giving transitions to its next generation.