Haute 100 San Francisco Update: Richard Goldman

Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—MiamiNew YorkLos Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. Check back daily for more info on the most powerful people in your city. San Francisco-native Richard Goldman passed away at age 90, marking the end of a benevolent life and leaving behind a philanthropic trendsetter’s legacy.

Richard Goldman

Category: Philanthropists

Company: Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund

Industry: Philanthropy

What Made Him Haute: Amassing wealth and then using it to save the world is what makes Richard Goldman one haute philanthropist. Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the Goldman Environmental Prize, and Al Gore came to San Francisco on Earth Day to award the six recipients with this top honor that recognizes activists for significant efforts to protect the environment, often at great personal risk. Each winner receives an award of $150,000, the largest award in the world for grassroots environmentalists.

What Makes Him Haute Now: Richard Goldman, best known for creating the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1989, died at his San Francisco home on Monday morning, Nov. 29, due to natural causes. Goldman was 90 years old. He is survived by a sister, Marianne Goldman; his sons, John and Doug Goldman; and daughter, Susan Gelman.

The Goldman Environmental Prize, dubbed the “Green Nobel,” is one of the world’s most coveted ecological awards, devoted to rewarding grassroots activism around the world. Throughout his lifetime, Goldman became heavily involved in philanthropy, helping fund Jewish educational and pro-Israel organizations. His fund gave about $12.6 million to Jewish affairs groups in 2010 alone. Goldman and his late wife set up the San Francisco-based Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, which has given away almost half a billion dollars since 1951, and founded Golden Insurance Services in 1949, which he sold to Willis Insurance in 2001.

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