NET WORTH: $3.3 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Real estate investments
FUNDING AREAS: Jewish Causes, Arts, Florida Community, TBD
OVERVIEW: Greene and his wife, Mei Sze Chan, are Giving Pledge signatories, meaning that the majority of their wealth will go to philanthropy. For now, Green's philanthropy is somewhat hard to track, particularly because the foundation the couple set up doesn't appear to have yet kicked into gear.
BACKGROUND: Jeff Greene is the son of working-class parents from Massachusetts. Greene got into Johns Hopkins and worked his way through. He later traveled the country selling circus tickets to pay for Harvard Business School. He bought his first house as a grad student, renting out rooms. He had 18 properties when he graduated. Today the bulk of his fortune is in real estate.
PROFILE: In recent years, through a combination of individual gifts and gifts with his wife, Greene is slowly building a philanthropic record. In a recent year, he gave at least $50,000 to the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach. Jewish causes are likely a priority of Greene's, not only because of his Hebrew school teacher mother, but because he himself was a Hebrew school teacher, one of the many jobs he took on while putting himself through school.
Greene has also given modest sums to other cultural and civic institutions in South and Central Florida. He's given to the Everglades Foundation, and the Central Florida YMCA Foundation. Greene and his wife have also hosted a reception of the Palm Beach Police Foundation's Policeman's Ball in their home. Greene sits on the board of the Palm Beach Police Foundation, whose mission includes providing scholarships and grants for police department family members.
Greene also appears to have some interest in art, having given steadily in recent years to the Perlman Music Program in New York. The outfit supports young talented string players. Greene and Mei Sze are also honorary chairs at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, though it's unclear if the couple have supported that oufit with money.
LOOKING FORWARD: It's likely that Greene's philanthropy will soon kick into gear. Between a fairly recent political run, and a first marriage, not to mention keeping up with his business, Greene's priorities have probably been elsewhere. Once Greene's philanthropy does start moving, look for Florida to be an important funding region. One area worth keeping an eye on is health. Greene's father repeatedly fell on hard times and died of a heart attack at age 51. Greene has said this experience motivated him to work hard and prioritize "financial security." Now that he certainly has that, it's also possible that down the line that his father's death motivates him to give in the health sphere. Another factor here is Greene's wife, Mei Sze, a Chinese woman who fled Malaysia to live in Australia. Perhaps some global development philanthropy will occur down the line.
Jeff And Mei Sze Greene Foundation
400 Alton Rd Apt 3101
Miami Beach, FL 33139