Credit: Celebrity Net Worth
For people of business, the main objective is money. How to make as much as possible, how to move it from one place to the next, how to solidify one’s assets—these aspects of business must be discussed and properly handled every single day. But there is another front-runner that may not be as readily thought about as the others: giving back
Philanthropy goes hand-in-hand with many major corporations. With so much money in revenue, it is important that companies give back to show their gratitude. This is an integral part of work that Ronald Perelman has taken with him his entire life.
Becoming a Mogul of Business
Ronald Perelman is among not only the wealthiest in the United States, but the entire world. Perelman came to fruition as an LBO specialist in the ‘80s. He became well-known for his takeover bids, which granted him the title of “corporate raider. His most profitable venture, MacAndrew & Forbes, has its hand in a wide variety of industries—from cosmetics with Revlon, to biotech, military, and entertainment.
Ever since he was a child, business had been a prominent part of Ronald Perelman’s life. His father, Raymond Perelman is the founder and CEO of RGP Holdings. The company owns significant interests in financial, manufacturing, and mining companies. As a child, Ronald Perelman would attend business meetings and visits to factories with his father, thoroughly interested in the cogs that ran this well-oiled machine even as a small boy.
Making a Name for Himself
Though the business tycoon comes from a line of commerce-savvy men, the baton was not passed on due to entitlement. In fact, it was that sense of entitlement that caused Perelman to push away from the family business. 41 years ago, Ronald Perelman had been slowly working his way up the ladder of one of his father’s galvanizing factories for about 10 years. He started as a foreman, working mostly night-shifts as he went to college for a degree in business. With his MBA and several years of experience under his belt, at the age of 34, Perelman came to his father and asked if he could take on the role of President and Chief Operating Officer. His father refused, feeling his son was too young to take on such an involved position.
Ronald Perelman would not to take “no” for an answer. But instead of pressing forward and demanding the position from his father, Perelman went off on his own to head his own business. Though determined and passionate, Perelman had no idea that this decision would sky-rocket him to billionaire status and make him one of the most influential businessmen of our time.
A Billionaire Who Gives Back
All the money has not jaded Ronald Perelman, or turned him into a selfish man. In his interview with Forbes, Perelman credits his parents to teaching him about philanthropy from a young age. They told him just how important it was to give back to the community, and watched them provide assistance to medical and educational organizations.
“[On he and his father’s giving] We both shy away from large structural organizations like the United Fund or where so much of the money is eaten up in overhead.” From Forbes.
To this day, Perelman is still one of the most giving billionaires in this country. He tends to give to places where he knows the money will be used for its intended purposes. With the Perelman Family Foundation, Ronald Perelman vows to give away at least half of his wealth to philanthropic causes such as women’s health, education, and the arts. And that, he does.
Ronald Perelman is the founder of Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program, which analyzes causes for breast and ovarian cancer to develop innovative treatments—such as Herceptin, the first genetically-based treatment for major cancer. Alongside Barbra Streisand, Perelman founded the Women’s Heart Alliance to raise awareness and fight the brutal disease. He and ex-wife Claudia Cohen came together to create the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weil Cornell Medical Center, and he is an avid supporter of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital and the National Breast Cancer Coalition. In 2010, he donated $50 million to the Weill Cornell Medical center to establish the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute.
Alongside the many foundations and programs Ronald Perelman has founded, he makes substantial donations to a variety of needing organizations. In 2013, he donated $100 million to Columbia Business School in order to create new buildings for the school, $50 million to NYU Langone Medical Center for the development of an emergency services center, and $50 million to the New York Presbyterian Hospital.
His donation to the arts are nothing to scoff at either. Perelman serves as the Vice Chairman of the Apollo Theater, and sits on the boards for the Museum of Modern Art, the Tribeca Film Institute, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, and Ford’s Theater.
Business is in his blood, but so is giving. With each and every one of his donations, Ronald Perelman truly makes a difference across the United States, and the world.