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January 15, 2019

Raymond G. Perelman, one of city's greatest philanthropists, dies at 101

Deaths Philanthropists
01152019_raymond_perelman_Penn Source/University of Pennsylvania

Raymond G. Perelman

Raymond Perelman, the successful businessman who became one of Philadelphia's greatest philanthropists, has died at the age of 101.

In a statement, Perelman's son Ronald Perelman said his father died on Monday night, the Associated Press reported.

Raymond Perelman studied business and finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1940.

An investor and entrepreneur who built his fortune buying and selling factories, he and his wife, the late Ruth Caplan Perelman, made a historic $225 million gift to create a permanent endowment for the School of Medicine, which was renamed the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in May 2011, the university said.

The state-of-the-art Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, created thanks to the couple’s $25 million gift, opened in 2008. In addition, the Perelmans established the first endowed professorship devoted to an active, full-time clinician. 

“We have lost one of Philadelphia’s great citizens,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said in a statement. “I considered Ray a dear friend — both to me and the University — and I am so gratified to know he will be remembered for the countless lives he has touched through his philanthropy. His impact on the University of Pennsylvania, the Perelman School of Medicine, and our city was nothing short of transformative, and it was an honor to have his partnership. Our hearts go out to the Perelman family during this difficult time.”

Other institutions benefiting from Perelman's largesse include Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Center for Jewish Life at Drexel University; the Raymond G. Perelman Plaza at Drexel; and the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.