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April 26, 2011

Los Angeles Billionaire's Giving Style Attracts Debate

The Los Angeles philanthropist and art collector Eli Broad has donated more than $2-billion to the arts, education, and medical research, drawing much praise but criticism as well, according to "60 Minutes."

Mr. Broad, who plans to give away much of his fortune to charity, told the news program, "I believe in two things: One, Andrew Carnegie said, 'He who dies with wealth dies in shame.' And someone once said, 'He who gives while he lives also knows where it goes.'"

Mr. Broad's style of giving has attracted charges that he is a micromanager, Christopher Knight, the art critic at the Los Angeles Times said on the program.  "Eli's middle name is 'strings attached.' Eli 'Strings Attached' Broad."

Mr. Knight also said that because Mr. Broad is the most powerful arts patron in Los Angeles, he goes unchallenged.

Michael Bloomberg, the New York City mayor who is also a prominent philanthropist, defended Mr. Broad, saying that he sets an example for other donors.

"I think it's really being a role model for others. And they look at Eli and because of him, they get the ideas, 'I'm going to be innovative and be philanthropic and do some other things.' The leverage of Eli Broad is really quite amazing."