Benefactor Is Up-by-Bootstraps Workaholic
With his gift of $100 million to USC–and the promise of another $100 million for UCLA–Los Angeles businessman Alfred E. Mann has secured a spot among the likes of Ted Turner and Bill Gates for entrepreneurial generosity.
The difference, of course, is that the media mogul and the high-tech wizard are household names, while Mann remains a virtual unknown in his own backyard.
Mann, the son of an immigrant grocer, has founded more than half a dozen local companies, including one of the largest cardiac pacemaker manufacturers in the world. In the process, he has helped make the biomedical industry an economic force in Southern California.
The incurable workaholic may never hold court with Barbara Walters or lead the tomahawk chop at the World Series, but friends and colleagues say that’s just fine with the 72-year-old physicist, whose reputation may someday extend well beyond the new research facilities he’s funding at the two Los Angeles universities.