Gary and Karen Winnick

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Global Crossing; Winnick & Company

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Literacy, Health, Arts & Culture, Animals, Jewish Causes 

OVERVIEW: The Winnick Family Foundation was founded by Los Angeles-based couple Gary and Karen Winnick. The Foundation focuses giving in the program areas of education, literacy, health care, art, culture, animal welfare and the needs of the worldwide Jewish community. The family's philanthropy focuses on New York and Los Angeles, with an international component, too. 

BACKGROUND: Gary Winnick grew up in a Jewish family in Long Island, New York, where his father owned a restaurant supply business. He graduated from Long Island University in 1969. Winnick was a senior executive at Drexel Burnham Lambert in its high yield and convertible bond group and also founded Global Crossing and Asia Global Crossing.Winnick is currently chairman and CEO of Winnick & Company, an investment firm based in Los Angeles.


EDUCATION & LITERACY: The Winnicks have strongly supported Winnick's alma mater Long Island University, including with a $10 million gift last decade. The school is home to the Winnick House and Arnold S. Winnick Student Center. They've also given Karen's alma mater Syracuse millions, and have supported Stanford and Brown, as well. Other grantees have included The Center for Early Education and The UCLA Foundation.  Karen Winnick is a children's book author and has a particular interest in literacy. The Winnicks have supported outfits like the Wonder of Reading.

HEALTH: A big winner here has been Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which has received millions, and is home to the Winnick Family Clinical & Translational Research Center. Other grantees have included American Cancer Society.

ARTS & CULTURE: Winnick is a member of the boards of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. These two outfits have received especially strong support from the family. Other grantees have included LACMA, Music Center, LA Opera, Fowler Museum at UCLA, and Aquarium of the Pacific. 

ANIMALS: Karen has a particular interest in animal welfare and is a member of the board of commissioners for the Los Angeles Zoo. Grantees have included Heifer International, Wildlife Conservation Society, African Wildlife Foundation, Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles, Stray Cat Alliance, Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, and the Lange Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to saving impounded companion animals. 

JEWISH CAUSES: Winnick is a trustee of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) in Los Angeles. In 2000, Winnick contributed $40 million for a peace and tolerance institute being built by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem. The Winnick Family Foundation has continued to support SWC. Other grantees have included Hillel, The Jewish Federation, World Jewish Congress, and PEF Israel Endowment Funds.  

LOOKING FORWARD: Winnick was once on the billionaire's list during his Global Crossing days, and he's still has managed to retain some of his wealth. Grantmaking also appears to be on the rise at the foundation of late so expect the Winnicks to continue steadily supporting their select interest areas.