Billionaire widow donates $1 billion to cover tuition at a Bronx medical school forever

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The widow of a billionaire financier made a landmark donation to cover tuition for students at a New York City medical school in perpetuity.

Ruth Gottesman donated $1 billion to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx on Monday.

Gottesman, 93, is a former professor at the school who studied learning disabilities and created an adult literacy program. She is currently the chair of the board of trustees for the college.

The donation is the largest made to a medical school, according to the college.

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine is seen on Monday in the Morris Park neighborhood in the Bronx borough of New York City. Ruth Gottesman, a former professor at Einstein and widow of Wall Street financier David Gottesman, announced a $1 billion donation to the school, with the money to be used to cover tuition for all students going forward.
The Albert Einstein College of Medicine is seen on Monday in the Morris Park neighborhood in the Bronx borough of New York City. Ruth Gottesman, a former professor at Einstein and widow of Wall Street financier David Gottesman, announced a $1 billion donation to the school, with the money to be used to cover tuition for all students going forward.

"This donation radically revolutionizes our ability to continue attracting students who are committed to our mission, not just those who can afford it," Yaron Tomer, the Marilyn and Stanley Katz Dean at Albert Einstein College of Medicine said in a news release announcing the donation. "Additionally, it will free up and lift our students, enabling them to pursue projects and ideas that might otherwise be prohibitive.

The Bronx is currently the unhealthiest county in New York state.

Where did the money come from?

Gottesman is the widow of David Gottesman, a protégé of Warren Buffett and an early investor in Berkshire Hathaway Inc., according to The New York Times.

David cofounded the investment firm First Manhattan Co., which managed over $20 billion in investments when he died in September 2022, according to Forbes.

Forbes estimated that Gottesman was worth $3 billion at the time of his death.

"He (David) left me, unbeknownst to me, a whole portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway stock,” Ruth Gottesman told The New York Times. Her husband had simple instructions for the inheritance: “Do whatever you think is right with it,” she said.

A condition of the gift is that the school cannot change its name, according to the Times.

How much does it cost to attend Albert Einstein College of Medicine?

The annual tuition to attend Albert Einstein College of Medicine's M.D. program is $59,458, according to the school's financial aid page.

Fourth-year students at the college will receive a reimbursement of their spring semester tuition.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ruth Gottesman gives $1B for tuition at Albert Einstein medical school