Los Angeles, CA

This Los Angeles businessman is giving away millions

Ash Jurberg

Over the last month, I have written a series of articles on business leaders and entrepreneurs who have been giving back to the community. I like to spread good news stories, and readers enjoy these uplifting articles.

Today I wanted to write about a Los Angeles businessman who has been very generous in his philanthropy.

Let's take a quick look at his story.

The Los Angeles businessman

Donald Friese was born in Pennsylvania in 1940, one of thirteen children.

When he was five, his parents took him to an orphanage where he lived until he was twelve, at which stage he moved to live and work on a dairy farm.

After high school, he joined the US Army and served for three years before moving to Los Angeles with just $125 in his pocket. His first job in Los Angeles was working in the warehouse of C.R Laurence, a small supplies distributor.

Fries worked hard, climbing the company ranks and acquiring equity in the business. Eventually, he owned 100% of the company and expanded by buying up competitors.

In 2015, Friese sold C.R. Laurence for $1.3 billion in cash. He had come a long way from his childhood roots and was determined to give back; now, he had become a billionaire.


When Friese sold C.R. Laurence, he distributed $85 million to his employees. He even gave two lucky staff one million dollars each.

Since he retired in 2018, Friese has focused on philanthropy. He established the Friese Foundation, a non-profit that "supports organizations that help low-income families, unhoused individuals, and other communities in need. These include programs serving veterans; youth programs and education assistance; animal rescue and welfare organizations; and organizations that provide physical and mental health services."

Last year, Friese made a record $50 million gift to Providence Tarzana Foundation to support the expansion and renovation of Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.

When COVID first hit, Friese, donated $200,000 to the Salvation Army and $100,00 to the USO to help with relief efforts.

Friese has donated $60 million to the foundation to disburse to worthy organizations, including American Red Cross, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Los Angeles Food Bank, and the National Veterans Foundation.

Readers, what do you think of Donald Friese's story? What other organizations in Los Angeles would you like to see him support?

Please leave your comments below.

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