NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Morgan Stanley; HighTower Advisors
FUNDING AREAS: Health & Human Services, Environment & Animals, Jewish Causes, Education, Chicago Community
OVERVIEW: Eugene Lerner moves his philanthropy through the Eugene & Janet Lerner Family Foundation, a charitable vehicle Lerner set up with his late wife Janet. A component of the foundation's grantmaking keys in on Chicago, though organizations in other regions receive attention, too.
BACKGROUND: Eugene Lerner received his BA and MA in economics from the University of Wisconsin and his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago. He was a professor at Kellogg School of Management and founded Disciplined Investment Advisors in the early 1970s. Lerner was also a director of wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. In 2012, Lerner joined HighTower Advisors, where he serves as managing director and partner.
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: The late Janet Lerner, who passed away in 2015, looms large in this family's giving. Janet was an active educator for six decades, and a pioneer in the field of learning disabilities. She first published her textbook, Learning Disabilities: Theories, Diagnosis, and Teaching Strategies, in 1971. Through the years, the couple, via their foundation, has supported outfits like Challenged Athletes Foundation; NADD, a "nonprofit membership association established for professionals, care providers and families to promote understanding of and services for individuals who have developmental disabilities and mental health needs"; and Misericordia, home to over 600 children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities. Other grantees have included National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Autism Science Foundation, and Planned Parenthood.
ENVIRONMENT & ANIMALS: Lerner has supported organizations like Oceana, NRDC, Jane Goodall Institute, and the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation.
JEWISH CAUSES: Lerner is a steady backer of the Jewish community in Chicagoland and beyond. He's given support to outfits like Hillel, Associated Talmud Torahs of Chicago, United Jewish Fund, Temple Beth Israel, American Israel Education Foundation, and Israel Sports Center For Disabled.
EDUCATION: Lerner has supported his alma mater, University Of Chicago, as well as Northwestern University, among others. Lerner taught at Northwestern for a time and is a professor emeritus of finance.
CHICAGO COMMUNITY: Grantees have included the TV station WTTW, radio station WBEZ, and Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra. A component of Lerner's philanthropy also involves supporting sailing.
LOOKING FORWARD: It's unclear how Janet's recent passing will affect the family's philanthropy. As for Lerner, he's in his late 80s and yet still going strong in the business world. Expect him to continue steadily funding his select philanthropic interest areas, too.
The Eugene & Janet Lerner Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch but below is an address:
Eugene & Janet Lerner Family Foundation
1831 Mission Hills Rd., Ste. 510
Northbrook, IL 60062