Bequest by developer turns into $118 million endowment to fund work on the molecular bases of heart disease
SAN FRANCISCO -- When Southern California shopping center developer J. David Gladstone died while swimming in the pool of his Hollywood Hills home in 1971, his death got scant notice beyond local real estate circles.

Yet today the memory of this obscure businessman lives on among biomedical scientists as the benefactor of the J. David Gladstone Foundation. The spectacular growth and scientific successes of this little-known biomedical research organization provide an instructive example of what can be achieved by private philanthropy without large infusions of federal funding.

Created out of a relatively modest bequest of $8 million in real estate holdings, the foundation now has an endowment of some $118 million. That ranks it among the top 150 foundations in the country, though technically it isn't a foundation at all but rather...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?