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Ken Griffin, David Geffen Donating $400 Million To Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


Billionaires Ken Griffin and David Geffen will donate $400 million to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the organization announced Tuesday morning, the largest single gift ever given to the New York-based treatment and research institution.

Ken Griffin of Citadel.

Aaron Kotowski/The Forbes Collection

Key Facts

Griffin and Geffen announced the donation Tuesday on “Good Morning America,” and Griffin said in a statement the pair is “honored” to support those “advancing breakthroughs in research and treatment and the outstanding nurses and staff who dedicate their lives to providing compassionate care to those impacted by this disease.”

The donation will be spent in three areas, MSK spokesperson Annik Allen told Forbes on Tuesday: Support the center’s staff of 20,000, implementing new technologies like robotics and building “state-of-the-art facilities that will enable us to provide the very best care.”

Allen did not specify how the donation is being split between the two billionaires.

Griffin has given some $1.6 billion to philanthropic causes, including funding the State Department’s rescue of 800 U.S. citizens from Wuhan during the Covid-19 pandemic, and giving $300 million to Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, $125 million to the economics department at the University of Chicago (now named for him) and $125 million to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (which will be renamed for him next year).

Geffen’s giving history includes a $150 million pledge to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the largest gift in the museum’s history, as well as $300 million to the University of California Los Angeles’s medical school and $100 million to refurbish the home of the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, both of which now bear his name.

Inductee David Geffen attends the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Big Number

50%. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the number of Americans with cancer will increase by 50% between 2015 and 2050 due to the growth and aging of the population.

Forbes Valuation

Griffin, who founded Miami hedge fund Citadel in 1990, is worth an estimated $36.3 billion and is the world’s 37th richest person as of Tuesday. Geffen, the co-founder of DreamWorks Animation and several record labels, has a net worth of $8.1 billion, making him the world’s 290th richest person. Forbes lists Griffin as one of the nation’s biggest philanthropic givers with a focus on education, economic mobility and medical research.

Further Reading

MORE FROM FORBESAmerica’s Most Generous Givers 2023: The Nation’s 25 Top PhilanthropistsBy Forbes Wealth TeamMORE FROM FORBESBillionaire Ken Griffin Condemns Harvard Groups’ Letter, But Will Continue To Donate To University Amid Israel And Hamas ConflictBy Devin Sean MartinMORE FROM FORBESBillionaire Music Mogul David Geffen Pledges $75 Million To Columbia Business SchoolBy Hank Tucker

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