Home » Widow inherits a billion dollars – and surprises medical students

Widow inherits a billion dollars – and surprises medical students

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Widow inherits a billion dollars – and surprises medical students

Dr. Ruth Gottesman herself studied at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Brent N Clarke/Getty Images

Dr. Ruth Gottesman donates her late husband’s $1 billion in Berkshire Hathaway shares to a medical school in the Bronx.

The donation will cover the students’ tuition fees in perpetuity.

A video shows students cheering and crying as they learned the news Monday morning.

This is a machine translation of an article from our US colleagues at Business Insider. It was automatically translated and checked by a real editor.

As the husband of the 96-year-old Dr. Ruth Gottesman died in 2022, he left behind something that surprised even his wife: $1 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock. “He left me, unbeknownst to me, a whole portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway stocks,” Gottesman told the “New York Times“. Her husband’s only instruction was: “Do with it as you see fit,” she told the newspaper.

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At first, Gottesman couldn’t decide what to do with the vast inheritance. But after her children advised her not to wait too long, she had an idea, The New York Times reported. She would donate all the money to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York’s poorest borough.

“I wanted to fund students at Einstein College so they could study for free,” Gottesman said in the New York Times. Your donation is so large that it will cover medical school tuition in perpetuity, according to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in a press release. All current fourth-year students will receive tuition reimbursement for Spring 2024. And from August, all current and future students will study for free.

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Video shows student reaction

Gottesman personally delivered the news to current students Monday morning. As soon as she said the words “fee-free,” the students in the auditorium erupted in cheers. They clapped and jumped out of their seats. Some even cried, like a video from the school’s teaching hospital, Montefiore Health Systems, shows.

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Gottesman, clinical professor emeritus of pediatrics at Einstein College, began her long career at the school in 1968, the school’s news release said. She currently serves as chair of the school’s board of trustees, a role she also held from 2007 to 2014.

Gottesman’s husband, David “Sandy” Gottesman, began his career in the 1960s with a friendship with Warren Buffett. This made him one of the first investors in Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, as it is im Foundation Guide is called. He later founded his own investment firm, First Manhattan Co, which is now run by his son.

Gottesman’s legacy will help the Albert Einstein College of Medicine attract a more diverse pool of applicants, the school said in its press release. And that was exactly Gottesman’s goal, she told the New York Times. A year of tuition at the school costs over 59,000 dollars (the equivalent of around 54,000 euros). That’s why many of the graduates have more than $200,000 in debt, according to the New York Times.

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“This donation revolutionizes our ability to continue to attract students who are committed to our mission, not just those who can afford it,” said Dr. Yaron Tomer. He is dean at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, according to the school’s press release. “Furthermore, it will liberate and empower our students to pursue projects and ideas that would otherwise be unaffordable.”

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