Daniel C. Searle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Daniel C. Searle
BornMay 6, 1926
DiedOctober 30, 2007 (2007-10-31) (aged 81)
EducationDeerfield Academy
Yale University
Harvard Business School
OccupationBusinessman, philanthropist
Spouse(s)Dain Searle
ChildrenD. Gideon Searle
Michael Searle
Anne Bent Searle
Parent(s)John Gideon Searle
RelativesGideon Daniel Searle (paternal great-grandfather)

Daniel C. Searle (May 6, 1926 – October 30, 2007) was an American business executive and philanthropist.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] He served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of G. D. Searle & Co from 1970 to 1977, and as its Chairman from 1977 until its merger with Monsanto in 1985. (G.D. Searle is now a subsidiary of Pfizer). He established the Searle Freedom Trust to promote free market economics.

Early life[edit]

Daniel Searle was born in Evanston, Illinois on May 6, 1926.[2][5] His paternal great-grandfather was Gideon Daniel Searle, who founded G. D. Searle & Company in 1888.[1][5] His father was John Gideon Searle, CEO of the family business from 1936 to 1972.[8] He had a sister, Suzanne Dixon and a brother, William L. Searle.[1][9][10] He attended boarding school in Arizona and the Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts.[1] He served in the United States Navy Reserve and in 1950 graduated from Yale University, where he played polo.[1][2][4][5][11] In 1952, he received an MBA from Harvard Business School.[1][2][4][5]

Business career[edit]

He was appointed president of G. D. Searle & Co in 1966 and chief executive officer in 1970.[1][2][4][5][7] In 1977, Searle recruited Donald Rumsfeld, then recently Gerald Ford's Secretary of Defense, as president and chief executive officer, and Searle became chairman of the board of directors.[1][2][7] In 1985, G. D. Searle & Co. was sold to Monsanto for US$2.7 billion.[5][7] The Searle family owned 34% of the company.[1]

Additionally, Searle was an investor in the Milwaukee Braves and the Chicago Bulls.[1]

Political activity[edit]

Searle's ideology was "free enterprise conservative", according to a former G. D. Searle board member and long-time friend.[1] In 1962, Searle helped finance Donald Rumsfeld's successful campaign for United States House of Representatives from Illinois' 13th congressional district.[1][2] Searle was chairman of the finance committee of Rumsfeld's campaign.[12]


Searle was a trustee of the Hudson Institute.[13] He also sat on the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute of Chicago.[4] Searle was an early member of the board of directors of Donors Trust, a donor-advised fund.[14]

He joined the Board of Trustees of Northwestern University in 1966 and became Life Trustee in 2000.[4][7] He served as an Adviser to the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust and donated grants to the Searle Biomedical Awards at the Feinberg School of Medicine, the Searle Leadership Fund in the Life Sciences, the Chicago Biomedical Consortium and the Searle Hall, home of the Northwestern University Health Center.[4][7] He was a trustee of the John G. Searle Family Trust, which funded the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence and the Searle Center at the Northwestern University School of Law.[4][7]

Searle Freedom Trust[edit]

Searle set up the Searle Freedom Trust to support free market economics.[1][2] The trust was worth US$100 million in 2007.[2] The trust will be depleted and closed by 2025 after the model of the John M. Olin Foundation, "to ensure that the Foundation will always remain in the hands of people who understand my [Searle's] intentions and are committed to carrying out the Foundation's mission".[2] Grantees of the Searle Freedom Trust include conservative and libertarian organizations.[2]

Searle's son Gideon succeeded his father as chairman of the Trust.[2] Kimberly O. Dennis is the president and chief executive officer of the Searle Freedom Trust.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Dain Searle.[1] They had two sons, D. Gideon Searle and Michael, and a daughter, Anne Bent.[1][4] They lived in Hobe Sound, Florida and maintained his parents's family home in Winnetka, Illinois.[1][7][15] He was a member of the Augusta National Golf Club.[16]

In 1996, heirs to concentration camp victims sued him in connection with a Degas painting that had been seized from their family in World War II.[17] This claim resulted in the first settlement concerning Nazi looted art in America [18][19]

Death and legacy[edit]

Searle died of emphysema on a pheasant hunting trip in Scotland on October 30, 2007.[1][2][3][4] The Searle Freedom Trust continues to endow free-market organizations.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Trevor Jensen, Daniel C. Searle: 1926–2007, The Chicago Tribune, November 06, 2007
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Miller, John J. (November 8, 2007). "Daniel C. Searle, R.I.P. A great conservative philanthropist dies". National Review. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Searle Freedom Trust". Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Northwestern University biography
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Daniel C. Searle, 81; chief executive of family's drug, research company, The Los Angeles Times, November 08, 2007
  6. ^ Kim Dennis, Daniel C. Searle: 1926–2007, Philanthropy, Winter 2008
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h In Memoriam Archived 2014-03-05 at the Wayback Machine, Northwestern Magazine, Spring 2008
  8. ^ Harvard Business School: John G. Searle
  9. ^ Searle, William L., The Chicago Tribune, August 23, 2004
  10. ^ Paid Notice: Deaths SEARLE, WILLIAM L., The New York Times, August 22, 2004
  11. ^ "Daniel Crow Searle, Yale College Class of 1950". Yale University Library. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  12. ^ Scarborough, Rowan (2004). Rumsfeld's War: The Untold Story of America's Anti-Terrorist Commander. Regnery Publishing. ISBN 0-89526-069-7.
  13. ^ Hudson Institute
  14. ^ Abowd, Paul (February 14, 2013). "Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  15. ^ Dennis Rodkin, Pharma Family Sells Searle Estate, Chicago
  16. ^ Augusta National Golf Club members list, USA Today
  17. ^ "Daniel Searle sued over Degas picture linked to Nazis". Wall Street Journal (Eastern ed.). New York. 19 July 1996. p. B6.
  18. ^ JUDITH H. DOBRZYNSKI (Aug 14, 1998). "Settlement in Dispute Over a Painting Looted by Nazis". New York Times. p. A17.
  19. ^ Boehm, Mike (February 15, 2014). "A family's 70-year quest to regain treasures stolen by Nazis Brothers Simon and Nick Goodman act as modern Monuments Men in tracing their grandfather's fabulous art collection lost during the Holocaust". LA Times. Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018. The case was grueling and expensive, settled by the businessman, Daniel Searle, in 1998 after a British documentary and CBS' "60 Minutes" had chronicled the brothers' underdog fight

External links[edit]