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Lowell Milken in 2009
|Born||November 29, 1948
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley
UCLA School of Law
|Occupation||Businessman, philanthropist |
|Net worth||$1.0 billion|
|Family||Michael Milken (brother)|
Lowell Milken, the younger brother of Michael Milken, is co-founder of Knowledge Universe, a provider of early childhood education (ECE). He is also the founder of the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement, co-founder and chairman of the Milken Family Foundation, and a former senior vice president in the junk bond trading operation of Drexel Burnham Lambert,
Over the past three decades, Lowell Milken has founded additional nonprofit organizations, including the Lowell Milken Family Foundation and the Lowell Milken Center. In 2000, he was named one of America’s most generous philanthropists by Worth Magazine.
Life and Business Career
Lowell Milken was born in Los Angeles to Bernard and Ferne Milken. He grew up in the San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles. He attended Hesby Elementary School in Encino, Portola Junior High School in Tarzana and Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, all in the greater Los Angeles area.
Lowell Milken graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned a law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, with distinctions of Order of the Coif and UCLA Law Review. .
In 1979, he joined Drexel Burnham Lambert’s High Yield and Convertible Bond Department, also known as the “junk bond” department. He served as a departmental senior vice president until he resigned in 1989. His duties were reported to be “mostly administrative,” but he also provided financial analysis of companies. He was not a registered representative with any securities exchange.
In March 1989, after a long investigation of Lowell’s brother Michael Milken, the government issued a 98-count indictment of Michael Milken, who was charged with racketeering and a "long list of mail, wire and securities frauds." The indictment also named Lowell in two charges of racketeering and 11 counts of fraud. Michael Milken, in a plea bargain deal, pleaded guilty and went to prison. As part of that deal, the government dropped charges against Lowell Milken,  but in March 1991, he was barred from working in the securities industry as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It has been suggested that the government indicted Lowell in order to put pressure on Michael Milken to settle the case against him, a tactic condemned as unethical by some legal scholars. "I am troubled by - and other scholars are troubled by - the notion of putting relatives on the bargaining table," said Vivian Berger, a professor at Columbia University Law School, in a 1990 interview with the New York Times. In articles in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times published in 1990, Lowell was characterized as an “unassuming family man” being used as a “bargaining chip,”  indicted only to put pressure on his brother.
After years in the planning stages, in 1996, Lowell co-founded Knowledge Universe with Michael Milken and Larry Ellison. In 2003, they became the sole owners of the company. In the United States, Knowledge Universe is the largest early childhood education company and operates under the KinderCare Learning Centers, Knowledge Beginnings, CCLC, The Grove School, Champions and Cambridge Schools brands. Internationally, it oversees early childhood education, K-12 education and post-secondary education programs and is headquartered in Singapore. Lowell continues to serve as vice chairman of Knowledge Universe Education and he is Chairman of Knowledge Universe Education Holdings Inc.
Lowell Milken is co-founder and chairman of the Milken Family Foundation.
First presented by Lowell Milken in 1987, the Milken Educator Awards program works with state departments of education to identify teachers, principals and education specialists who are improving student achievement, making significant contributions to a school's level of excellence and elevating the teaching profession.
In 1999, Lowell Milken founded the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement, a comprehensive school reform currently impacting more than 20,000 educators and 200,000 students. The system is based on four integrated and aligned elements: Multiple careers paths, continuous school-based professional development, instructionally-focused teacher evaluation, and performance-based compensation for educators. In 2005, Lowell founded an independent public charity to support and manage the TAP System, The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), and has since served as its Chairman.
The Lowell Milken Center was established by Lowell Milken in 2007 in partnership with Kansas Milken Educator Norman Conard. The public nonprofit organization discovers, develops and communicates the stories of unsung heroes who have made a profound and positive difference on the course of history and includes a 6,000-square-foot museum space with permanent and rotating exhibitions.
Lowell Milken has partnered with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to present the Lowell Milken Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award to scientists for work in the field of prostate cancer.
Lowell Milken established the Lowell Milken Family Foundation in 1986 to support and provide funding for organizations and initiatives that strengthen communities through education and lifelong learning.
In May 2015, Lowell Milken accepted an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Chapman University’s George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics. Lowell was honored as UCLA Law 2009 Alumnus of the year for his accomplishments in public and community service, particularly in the area of education and school reform. In 2009, Hebrew Union College presented Lowell with a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, in Los Angeles. In 2004, Lowell was honored by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America during the event "Only in America: Jewish Music in a Land of Freedom." In 2000, Lowell Milken was named one of America’s most generous philanthropists by Worth Magazine. Lowell Milken's work in business and philanthropy has been recognized by the National Association of State Boards of Education, the Horace Mann League and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
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