Matthew Bucksbaum

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Matthew Bucksbaum
Born (1926-02-20)February 20, 1926
Marshalltown, Iowa, U.S.
Died November 24, 2013(2013-11-24) (aged 87)
Ethnicity Jewish
Education B.A. University of Iowa
Occupation Real estate developer
Known for Co-founder of General Growth Properties
Net worth $1.2 billion (2011)
Spouse(s) Carolyn Swartz
Children John Bucksbaum
Ann Bucksbaum
Parent(s) Ida Gervich
Louis Bucksbaum
Family Martin Bucksbaum (brother)

Matthew Bucksbaum (February 20, 1926 – November 24, 2013) was an American businessman and philanthropist. He co-founded General Growth Properties (NYSEGGP).[1]


Early life[edit]

Bucksbaum was born to a Jewish family[2] in Marshalltown, Iowa, to Ida (Gervich) and Louis Bucksbaum. He graduated from the University of Iowa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1949, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the Order of Artus.[3][4]


Together with his brother Martin, he co-founded General Growth Properties (NYSEGGP), a real estate development company, and opened his first shopping center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1954.[5] By 1972, the company became publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and it became the second largest owner, developer, and manager of regional shopping malls.[5][6] He served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.[6] He formed two Real estate investment trusts and was responsible for the purchase of shopping centers for more than $36 billion.[4]


He sat on the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.[4] He was a President of the Temple B'nai Jeshurun and the Polk County Mental Health Association, and a Director of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, all in Des Moines, Iowa.[4]

He donated US$42 million to the University of Chicago for the creation of the Bucksbaum Institute.[6]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Carolyn (Swartz) Bucksbaum, a philanthropist.[6][7] They had two children.[3] Their son, John Bucksbaum, served as CEO of General Growth Properties from 1999 to 2008, and as its Chairman from 2007 to 2010.[5] Their daughter Ann is married to journalist Thomas Friedman.[8] They resided in Chicago.[3] As of March 2011, he was worth an estimated US$1.2 billion.[3]