Richard Goldman receives a Heinz Awards Chairman's Medal for more than a half-century of magnanimous support of a range of social issues and causes at home and abroad.
One of the nation's most munificent benefactors, Mr. Goldman is president of both the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund and the Goldman Environmental Foundation. Through annual grants totaling approximately $40 million, Mr. Goldman's philanthropic reach extends into a variety of social issues, including the environment, democracy and civil participation, Jewish affairs, Israel and improving the quality of life in his hometown of San Francisco.
In 1990 Mr. Goldman and his late wife established the Goldman Environmental Prize, dubbed the "Green Nobel Prize." The individual $125,000 awards are presented annually to recipients living in each of six geographic areas: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands and Island Nations, North America and South and Central America.
Born in San Francisco and educated in the city's public schools, Mr. Goldman graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. Following a year in law school, he served in the United States Army during World War II and shortly afterwards founded Goldman Insurance Services, an insurance brokerage firm headquartered in San Francisco.
Mr. Goldman has a long history of charitable giving dating back more than 50 years. He and his wife Rhoda, an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune who passed away in 1996, had their own philosophy on philanthropy, believing that foundations should not exist in perpetuity. As such, current plans call for the complete disbursement of the assets of Mr. Goldman's foundations by the 10th anniversary of his death.
Mr. Goldman has been active in many academic pursuits. He and his wife made a $10 million gift to their alma mater's graduate school of public policy, which has since been renamed in their honor, and their $1 million donation to San Francisco State University helped endow the school's first Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility. He also established the Goldman Honors Program on the Environment, Science, Technology and Policy at Stanford University.
A generous global citizen whose heart eclipses even the magnitude of his philanthropy, Richard Goldman has touched the lives of countless citizens and made a lasting difference toward our understanding of the world around us.
Note: This profile is excerpted from the commemorative brochure published at the time of the awards' presentation.
Richard Goldman passed away on November 29th, 2010.
Speech5/24/2005 - Acceptance Speech
Asher Goldman accepted the Heinz Award for his grandfather, Richard Goldman.
Thank you. It is with great pride that I accept this award on behalf of someone I have so deeply respected and admired by entire life, my grandfather, Richard Goldman.
When I was little, he would periodically recite the phrase, "Do unto others as you would have done unto you", an ideal commonly known as the Golden Rule, or as I misunderstood it, the Goldman Rule. And so I grew up with the assumption that this philosophy had been conceived by my Grandfather and was really only applicable to me and my extended family.
And why not? Richard Goldman has lived every moment of his life by the Golden Rule. Not only has he done unto others what he would have done unto himself, but he has gone above and beyond the call of duty. For him, it's not just about giving back to the community, it's about giving to communities he has taken nothing from. It's about recognizing the deep seeded need for social and political change and doing something about it regardless of how vast or limited your resources might be. It's about the enormous potential each individual possesses, the ability to make a difference.
So I'd like us all to leave tonight feeling a little bit more inspired. To live our own lives by the Golden Rule, or in my case, the Goldman Rule.
Thank you, Mrs. Heinz.