Businessman-philanthropist Dan David dies

AP News
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Posted: Sep 06, 2011 1:05 PM
Businessman-philanthropist Dan David dies

Romanian-born businessman Dan David, who set up a foundation to award $1 million prizes to people who impact society in science, culture and other fields, died Tuesday. He was 82.

David's son Ariel said his father suffered a brain hemorrhage and passed away at a hospital in southwest London.

With Romania's communist authorities frowning on his involvement in a Zionist youth movement, David left the country in 1960 and emigrated to Israel. He made his fortune as an early developer of automatic photo machines. He lived in Italy, Britain and Israel.

The Dan David Foundation awards three $1 million prizes each year for achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on the world. Winners have included the moviemaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The prize's website sums up David's philosophy: "Success can be a source of satisfaction but money should be put to work for good causes after personal needs have been met."

The president of Tel Aviv University, Joseph Klafter, expressed his sorrow over David's passing in a statement, calling him "a renaissance man" and "a true friend of Tel Aviv University." The Dan David prize is handed out at the university.

David is survived by his wife, Gabriela and his son, a former reporter for The Associated Press in Rome.

A funeral is planned for Friday in Israel.

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Dan David Prize is at http://www.dandavidprize.org