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Noted UCLA Philanthropist John Anderson Dies At 93

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The late, great John Anderson...a philanthropist who often gifted his alma mater. (credit: Topa Equities Ltd.)

The late, great John Anderson…a philanthropist who often gifted his alma mater. (credit: Topa Equities Ltd.)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS)  — Philanthropist John Anderson, whose financial support of his alma mater’s business program led to his name adorning the UCLA Anderson School of Management, died today at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center at age 93.

“John Anderson has forever enriched not only UCLA but also the lives of countless members of the Los Angeles community through his family’s generous support of health care and social welfare organization’s throughout our city,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said.

“On our campus, his visionary philanthropy will continue to create opportunities for generations of entrepreneurs at the UCLA Anderson School of Management,” he added. “We mourn the loss of a distinguished alumnus, leader and friend, and we extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, Marion Anderson, and the Anderson family.”

Before becoming a philanthropist of extraordinary giving, Anderson was the president of Topa Equities Ltd., which owns more than 42 businesses involved in agriculture, insurance, real estate, wholesale beverage distribution and automotive dealerships. His wife is vice chair of the company and serves on the board of directors of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The couple donated $50 million toward the construction CHLA’s new hospital building, which was named the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion.

The Andersons have donated nearly $42 million to the Anderson School of Management, according to the university, with his name being attached to the program in conjunction with their first donation in 1987. They most recently donated $25 million in April, with the funds being designated for a range of research, curriculum and student-support programs.

In 1995, the university awarded him the UCLA Medal, the highest honor it bestows, for contributions to his profession and society.

Anderson graduated from UCLA in 1940 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, then went on to receive an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business, and a law degree from Loyola University School of Law.

He served as president of the UCLA Foundation from 1990-92. He was also a former chairman of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, a trustee and former president of the St. John’s Hospital and Health Center Foundation and a trustee of Claremont McKenna College.

His sons, William and John Jr., both earned degrees at UCLA, and their daughter, Judy Munzig, serves on the board of the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UCLA Anderson School of Management.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in his name to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles or the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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