Dr Ruth Gottesman Husband: The Extraordinary Impact of Her Husband’s Generosity

Dr. Ruth Gottesman, a distinguished educator and chair of the board of trustees at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM) in the Bronx, New York, has recently made headlines with her extraordinary philanthropy.

She donated $1 billion to AECOM, marking the largest gift ever received by any medical school in the nation. But behind this remarkable act of generosity was a love story that began many years ago.

A Lifelong Partnership

In 1948, before embarking on her studies at Mount Holyoke College, Dr. Ruth Gottesman crossed paths with David Gottesman, a prominent Wall Street financier and the founder of First Manhattan Co. They tied the knot in 1950 and shared a union that spanned 72 years until his passing in 2022.

The couple was blessed with three children, two sons, and a daughter, all of whom pursued successful careers in finance, law, and education, following in their parents’ footsteps.

David Gottesman, a close associate and business ally of Warren Buffett, the renowned investor and owner of Berkshire Hathaway, played a pivotal role in Buffett’s company as an early investor and long-standing board member.

Additionally, he co-established Diversified Retailing, a firm that owned multiple retail chains, alongside Buffett. At the time of his demise, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $2.9 billion.

A Passion for Education

Dr. Ruth Gottesman, a graduate of Barnard College, furthered her education by obtaining master’s and doctoral degrees in educational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Joining AECOM in 1968, she became a trailblazer in the field of learning disabilities, pioneering innovative screening, evaluation, and treatment methods.

Her contributions included founding the Adult Literacy Program and the Fisher Landau Center for the Treatment of Learning Disabilities at AECOM.

Furthermore, she broke barriers by becoming the first woman to chair the board of trustees at AECOM in 2007, and she has been a member of the Montefiore Health System board of trustees since the same year.

A Legacy of Giving

Dr. Ruth Gottesman and her husband were renowned philanthropists, dedicated to supporting various causes, particularly in education and healthcare.

Their contributions included a $25 million donation to AECOM in 2008, which facilitated the establishment of the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research, the Ruth L. Gottesman Clinical Skills Center, and the Faculty Scholar in Epigenetics at AECOM.

Following David Gottesman’s passing in 2022, he bequeathed a portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway stock to his wife, with the directive to utilize it at her discretion. In February 2024, Dr. Ruth Gottesman honored his memory and her enduring connection to AECOM by announcing a $1 billion gift to the institution.

This monumental donation ensures free tuition in perpetuity for all future students at AECOM, irrespective of their financial circumstances.

The generous gift also fortifies AECOM’s commitment to excellence in medical education, research, and patient care, while addressing healthcare disparities and social determinants of health within the Bronx and beyond.

Dr. Yaron Yomer, the dean of AECOM, commended Dr. Ruth Gottesman for her visionary leadership and benevolence, recognizing the lasting impact her donation will have on countless students, faculty, patients, and communities.

A Remarkable Couple

Dr. Ruth Gottesman and her husband, David Gottesman, epitomized a remarkable partnership characterized by a shared passion for education and a profound commitment to philanthropy.

Their story serves as an inspiration to all who value the transformative power of love, learning, and giving. They will be remembered as influential and benevolent figures whose legacy continues to shape the trajectory of AECOM and the medical field.

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