Leslie Gonda

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Leslie Gonda
Occupation businessman
Net worth $1.1 Billion USD (Oct 2006)
Children Louis Gonda

Leslie Gonda is a business man and entrepreneur and Holocaust survivor who moved to South America after the Holocaust, beginning a local wares business. Over time, he grew, beginning local businesses and branching into hotels and the aircraft industry. Ultimately, he moved to Los Angeles, United States and started ILFC, the second largest airliner leasing company in the world and pioneer of aircraft leasing. Along with his son, Louis Gonda, he achieved a large amount of success, being named among Forbes list of richest American billionaires. In later years, he has encountered financial difficulties.[1]


Leslie Gonda has been a major benefactor of many medical institutions, museums, and charities over the years. He donated the learning center at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. He has also made large donations to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where the Gonda building is named after him. He has made large donations to the UCLA Medical Center where the The Gonda (Goldschmied) Neuroscience and Genetics Research Center as well as the Gonda Diabetes Center is also named after him. Beyond this, he has donated to the City of Hope Cancer Center and is known for his generosity in giving gold coins to his employees' children. In 1999 he gave $60 million to the Smithsonian Institution.[2] He also made large donations to Bar-Ilan University in Israel, for building a brain research institute and a Nanoscience research institute. [3]


  1. ^ Farrell (30 September 2008). "Some billionaires losing big in economic crisis". NBC. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Molotsky, Irvin (30 September 1999). "Billionaire, Once Refugee, Donates Millions to Museum". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "List of Billionairs". Forbes. 

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