Lawrence Wien, Philanthropist, Lawyer, Dies
WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) _ Lawrence Arthur Wien, a lawyer, real estate agent and philanthropist who donated millions of dollars to education and the arts, died of prostate cancer Saturday at his home. He was 83 years old.
The founder and senior partner in the New York law firm of Malkin and Bettex, Wien was known primarily for giving millions of dollars to schools, the arts, civic and welfare organizations.
Wien said in a 1982 interview that after providing financial security for his family, ″I decided to have the fun of giving my money away.″
Among his major contributions was $8.5 million to Brandeis University, including an endowment fund called the Wien International Scholarship that assists 15 foreign students with tuition and support each year.
He donated more than $20 million to his alma mater, Columbia University, including $6 million to replace the university’s crumbling football stadium.
He was recognized as a pioneer in real-estate investment syndications. He organized syndicates that at one time controlled more than $2 billion worth of real estate, including many New York City landmarks.
Over the years, Wien served as president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropists, as a trustee of Columbia University and of Brandeis, and on the New York City Council Against Poverty. He was also a patron of the New York City Ballet and New York City Opera.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth; two daughters; two brothers; a sister; six grandchildren; and five great-great grandchildren.