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May 14, 2012

Obituary: Jack Benaroya, Seattle, Gave to Arts and Medicine

Jack Benaroya, the Pacific Northwest real-estate mogul whose name graces the Seattle Symphony's concert hall, died Friday at age 90, The Seattle Times reports.

Mr. Benaroya pioneered the construction of business parks in the Northwest, building the region's biggest privately held commercial development firm. He sold the company in 1984 for $315-million and afterward devoted himself largely to philanthropy.

His $15-million gift to the Seattle Symphony in 1993 was at the time the largest donation ever to a nonprofit group in the city. He continue to support the orchestra as well as pumping millions of dollars into research on diabetes and autoimmune diseases and supporting Jewish and education causes, often with little or no publicity.

"He liked even better the things he did that nobody knew about," said Joel Benoliel, a former general counsel with Mr. Benaroya's firm.