$1 Billion Donation Transforms Bronx Medical Education

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Photo of stethoscope

In a stunning philanthropic move, Dr. Ruth Gottesman, the 93-year-old widow of a Wall Street magnate, has bequeathed a $1 billion gift to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Einstein) in the Bronx, NY. This unprecedented donation, one of the largest ever bestowed upon an educational institution in the United States, is intended to cover the tuition for future medical students in perpetuity.

Dr. Gottesman, a former professor at Einstein who is known for her work in learning disabilities, has long been associated with the institution. Her late husband, David Gottesman, was a protege of Warren Buffett and amassed a significant fortune through his investments, including an early stake in Berkshire Hathaway.

What sets this donation apart is not just its size but its destination – the Bronx is New York City’s most economically challenged borough, is notorious for its high rates of premature deaths and poor health outcomes. While other philanthropists have directed large financial gifts towards Manhattan’s more prestigious medical institutions, Dr. Gottesman’s gift shines a light on an often-overlooked community.

Dr. Gottesman’s affinity for Einstein stems from her decades-long tenure there, where she dedicated herself to serving the community. Her friendship with pediatrician Dr. Philip Ozuah, who currently oversees the medical college, played a pivotal role in her decision-making process. Their shared commitment to helping those in need inspired her donation.

Dr. Gottesman wanted to alleviate the financial burden of medical education, so she resolved to fund tuition for future generations of aspiring doctors. Her gift not only ensures that talented individuals can pursue their education debt-free but also aims to diversify the medical profession by attracting students from varied socioeconomic backgrounds.