- Thomas P. McNulty
American philanthropists and art collectors. Eli Broad (b New York, June 6, 1933) spent most of his youth in Detroit, MI. In 1954 he graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in accounting, and married Edythe Lois Lawson. Upon graduation, Eli Broad began his career as a professional accountant but changed course when in 1957 he co-founded (with Donald Kaufman, a builder) the Detroit company Kaufman & Broad, which produced inexpensive homes for the rapidly expanding post–World War II population.
Kaufman & Broad attained considerable success in the 1950s, and continued to expand in the decades that followed. In an attempt to diversify its income stream, Kaufman & Broad entered the insurance market, beginning with its acquisition of Sun Life Insurance in the late 1970s, and its addition of a second insurance firm—Coastal States Corp.—by the mid-1980s. With the acquisition of still more insurance and financial companies, Broad’s holdings were organized under a new firm—Broad Inc.—later renamed SunAmerica, which in turn would be acquired by the international insurance giant American International Group (AIG). Broad remained with AIG through to the end of the 1990s, when he retired and, with his wife Edythe, began to pursue their interests in collecting and philanthropy....