Chicago, IL

The Chicago billionaire that is giving his fortune away

Ash Jurberg

Eric Lefkofsky has a net worth of $4.1 billion. And he has promised to give most of this wealth away.

Let's take a look at the story of the Chicago billionaire who is giving his fortune away.

The Chicago billionaire giving his fortune away

Lefkofsky, a serial entrepreneur, grew up in Michigan and attended the University of Michigan Law School. At college, he met Brad Keywell, and together they founded several companies.

This includes the daily deals site Groupon, and the Venture Capital firm Lightbank, which has made investments in over 100 companies. In addition, Lefkofsky is co-founder of NASDAQ listed companies Echo Global Logistics and InnerWorkings.

Lefkofsky is also the founder and CEO of Tempus, a technology company that empowers doctors to personalize cancer treatment through data and analytics.

As if all of that isn't enough to keep Lefkofsky busy, he serves as a Trustee of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry, and World Business Chicago. In addition, he is an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago.

It's an understatement to say that Eric Lefkofsky is busy. But not too busy to devote time to philanthropy.


In 2006, Lefkofsky and his wife, Liz, formed The Lefkofsky Family Foundation. Its "purpose is to advance high-impact initiatives that enhance the quality of human life in the communities we serve."

A particular focus of the foundation is medical research.

Liz’s sister died of a brain tumor at the age of seven in 1974, and both Liz and her mother have had cancer. Part of our life-long mission is funding research to eradicate cancer and other horrific diseases to improve the quality of human life.

In 2013, Lefkofsky and his wife joined The Giving Pledge, in which they promised to give away the majority of their wealth while they were still alive.

We recognize that perhaps our greatest accomplishment—with the exception of the kids we raise—will not come from businesses we've started, but from the help we provide to people and causes around the world. We believe, with the others who have signed this Pledge that we are truly on the cusp of life-changing achievements that will improve our collective quality of life, and have an everlasting impact on generations to come.”

Importantly the Lefkofskys also want to give back to the city of Chicago.

We love our city and are in awe of its incredible vitality and spirit. We also believe that no city or community can truly thrive without a strong cultural foundation.

Readers, what other organizations in Chicago would you like to see them support?

Please leave your comments below.

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