Richmond, VA

The Richmond family giving away millions

Ash Jurberg
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I write many articles on business leaders, entrepreneurs, and billionaires.

And when I do, I get messages from readers asking what these people do to give back to the community. So today, I thought we could take a quick look at one person in Richmond that is giving away millions of dollars to the local community.

William Goodwin Junior and his family of Richmond, Virginia, are the biggest philanthropists in the state. And in fact, in 2021, they were the 15th most generous philanthropist in the United States.

The Richmond family giving away millions

William H. Goodwin Jr. was born in 1940 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1962. He then earned a Master in Business Administration degree from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia in 1966.

He worked at IBM for several years before founding Commonwealth Computer Advisors, which became CCA Industries in 1971. CCA is a diversified holding company that oversees businesses, including The Jefferson Hotel, The Hermitage Hotel, and Keswick Hall at Monticello.

He has bought and sold several businesses, and when he sold AMF Bowling Group in the mid-nineties to Goldman Sachs investment group, he generously shared $50 million with his 4000 employees.

And together with his family, he is still generous with his wealth.


In 1999, Goodwin Jr. and his wife, Alice, pledged $13.3 million to the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, the largest single gift in the institution's 45-year history. This was on top of the $12 million they had already donated anonymously.

Goodwin Jr. also gave $32.5-million to the University of Virginia's School of Engineering.

But perhaps the cause most important to the Goodwins is cancer. They created the Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research and directed $88.5 million to several cancer facilities in the US. They also contributed $25 million to the Massey Cancer Center of Virginia Commonwealth University.

They stepped up their charitable efforts to cancer research after their son, Hunter, lost his battle with colon cancer in 2020 at the age of 51.

This prompted the Goodwin family to donate $250 million to five of the nation's top cancer centers that will combine to launch Break Through Cancer, a partnership focusing on studying several forms of cancer.

The deliberative approach of focusing research on highly challenging cancers will help make rapid progress where it is desperately needed. We are honored and excited to join some of the leading cancer centers and scientists in the world to advance this important research. All of this is made possible through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Goodwin, Jr. and their family, and the estate of William Hunter Goodwin III, whose gift represents one of the largest gifts in cancer research, and deeply inspires us as we go forward." Dana-Farber Cancer Institute president

Goodwin was recognized for his donation and awarded the American Cancer Society's Medal of Honor for Philanthropy.

"We want to help people have better lives. And we sincerely hope that by being public with our support, we will inspire others to support this incredible effort." William Goodwin Junior

Readers, what do you think of Goodwin's donations? And what other organizations in Richmond would you like to see him support?

Please leave your comments below.

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