LOS ANGELES -- Billionaire businessman John E. Anderson, who founded Topa Equities and gave his name and millions to the school of management at the University of California, Los Angeles, and other Southern California institutions, died Friday, the school said.
Anderson died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, UCLA said in a statement. He was 93.
The school was renamed the John. E. Anderson Graduate School of Management after Anderson and wife Marion gave their first gift in 1987. They have donated a total of $42 million to the university, including a $25 million gift announced in April.
"John's gifts to others were innumerable, sharing his wisdom, time leadership talents and financial support," Judy Olian, dean of the Anderson school, said in a message to the school's business community. "Our history, built over 75 years, owes so much to John's leadership, engagement, contagious enthusiasm, bold vision and longtime support."
Anderson graduated from UCLA with a degree in business in 1940, and then earned an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.
Until his death Anderson was president of Topa Equities, owner and operator of 33 businesses involved in agriculture, insurance, real estate, beverage distribution and auto dealerships.
His fortune was self-made, beginning with the purchase of a Hamm's beer distributorship in downtown Los Angeles in 1956 when he was working as lawyer. That grew into Topa Equities.
"We began modestly, carefully and prudently, and moved as the opportunities came," Anderson told the Los Angeles Times in 1987.
The pair also donated more than $50 million to the construction of a new building for Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where Marion Anderson is a board member.
A campus memorial service will be held, the university said.