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As the Chairman of Jones Apparel Group, Sidney Kimmel has been called the 'Iron Man' of the apparel industry. As a prominent philanthropist, Mr. Kimmel has used his personal resources, business acumen and industry contacts to raise awareness and funding for cancer research
Sidney Kimmel, founder and chairman of Jones Apparel Group, donated $150 million for cancer research and patient care—the largest single gift ever to the Johns Hopkins University. In honor of his generosity, the Hopkins Cancer Center became The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.
Speaking of his gift, Mr. Kimmel said: "I am blessed. To be able to support one of the leading institutions in the world and build on its momentum gives so much meaning to what we have all done thus far to defeat cancer and provides even more hope for what can now be accomplished. My goal with this gift is to make meaningful advances in our knowledge of cancer."
Mr. Kimmel's gift also provides the lead funding for development of a residence to serve patients and families undergoing prolonged cancer treatments. "As important as research is, I want to assure that some of those most acutely devastated by cancer, whose conventional and experimental therapies require a protracted presence in Baltimore, have the advantage and support of a family residence," he emphasized.
"On the day after my election," said Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City and former chairman of The Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees, "I took time out to call and thank Sidney; he's probably the nation's leading individual donor to cancer research, and that deserves congratulations not only from the Hopkins community but from us all."
"Sidney Kimmel has shown enormous vision and insight into what would make a difference in the field of cancer research, as well as great confidence in our ability to achieve results. We are truly honored by this gift," said Martin Abeloff, M.D., then director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.
The gift recognizes a new era in cancer research and treatment, according to Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. "We stand at the threshold of exponential discovery in the laboratory and the development of new treatments in the clinic. We seek nothing less than the eradication of cancer in our lifetimes. We have a great challenge ahead of us, but, with Mr. Kimmel's tremendous generosity, success suddenly seems within our reach."
The Hopkins gift is one of many Mr. Kimmel has made to cancer research. Most recently, he gave $25 million to fund research and develop a new prostate and urological cancer center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and he has made significant gifts for cancer research in San Diego and Philadelphia.
Mr. Kimmel also designed and remains closely involved with The Kimmel Scholars Program, which supports young cancer scientists nationally. With each receiving $200,000 over two years, 15 recipients are chosen annually by a distinguished panel of 10 scientists hand-picked by Mr. Kimmel. He also was the lead sponsor for "The March: Coming Together to Conquer Cancer" in 1998, which helped make more than $400 million in additional government funding available for cancer programs around the country.
Among gifts in fields other than cancer, Mr. Kimmel is the lead individual donor to The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in Philadelphia on December 14, 2002. The Performing Arts Center, designed by Rafael Viñoly, is home to the Philadelphia Orchestra.
"Mr. Kimmel's gift to us, as well as his other philanthropic endeavors, represents a combination of extraordinary thoughtfulness and compassion," said William R. Brody, president of The Johns Hopkins University. "He defines leadership, and his example calls on others to follow him."
Mr. Kimmel, 73, is chairman and a director of Jones Apparel Group Inc., which he founded in the mid-1970s. The group now includes such labels as Jones New York, Lauren and Evan-Picone. He also is a partner in Cipriani International, a world-renowned restaurant and catering business, as well as part-owner of the Miami Heat. He was born and raised in West Philadelphia, and, with his wife, Caroline, spends time in New York City, Philadelphia, and Palm Beach.
In his "spare time", Mr. Kimmel is the owner of the new Regent Wall Street luxury hotel, located in the famed New York Stock Exchange Building. Mr. Kimmel is a partner in Cipriani International, a world-renowned restaurant and catering concern with establishments in New York, Venice and Buenos Aires. He is a minority owner of the Miami Heat basketball franchise, and, rounding out his pursuits, Mr. Kimmel continues with his film production company. His most notable films are: "Blame It On Rio" and "9½ Weeks".