Sanford Diller

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Sanford Diller
Born(1928-06-04)4 June 1928
Died2 February 2018(2018-02-02) (aged 89)
NationalityUnited States
EducationB.A. University of California, Berkeley
J.D. Hastings College of the Law
Occupationreal estate developer
Known forfounder of Prometheus Real Estate Group
Net worthIncrease US$ 1.3 billion (September 2014) [1]
Spouse(s)Helen Samuels
ChildrenBrad Diller
Ron Diller
Jackie Diller Safier

Sanford Diller (June 4, 1928 – February 2, 2018[2]) was an American billionaire and founder of Prometheus Real Estate Group.[3] He died February 2, 2018 of natural causes in Woodside, CA.


The son of Jewish immigrants from Austria who had settled in San Francisco, Diller graduated from the University of California, Berkeley[4] and then graduated with a J.D. from the Hastings College of the Law.[5] After law school, Diller began acquiring and developing real estate in the mid-1960s.[3] In 1965, he founded the Prometheus Real Estate Group.[3] Prometheus grew to become the San Francisco Bay area's largest closely held owner of apartments with over 11,000 owned units and is valued at $2.3 billion.[3] Prometheus is owned by Diller and his wife through a revocable trust.[3]


In 2002, the Helen Diller Family Program in Jewish Studies donated $5 million to establish an endowment for a visiting Israeli scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley.[6] In 2003, the Dillers donated $35 million to fund The Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Care Center at the UC San Francisco complex on the biomedical campus of Mission Bay.[5] Since 1999, the Dillers have donated $200 million via their family foundation named after his wife, The Helen Diller Family Foundation. Other major gifts have funded Jewish studies programs at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, the renovation of the Julius Kahn playground at the Presidio, and the preschool in the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, named Helen Diller Preschool.[5][7][8] Since 2007, the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards have recognized Californian Jewish teens who are outstanding role models in their communities.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In 1951, Diller married Helen Samuels (born 1928), the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Poland, and fellow University of California, Berkeley graduate who he met in college.[5] Her father was a clothing salesman and shop owner.[5] They have three children: Brad Diller, Ron Diller, and Jackie Safier,[4] president of Prometheus.[3] The Dillers live in Woodside, California.[5]


Diller is believed to be behind the website Canary Missionwhch says it lists those it considers be anti-Israel or antisemitic[9][10] and has said that it will send the names of listed students to prospective employers.[11][12]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Ho, Catherine. "Real estate developer, philanthropist Sanford Diller dies at 89". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bloomberg: "Prometheus Billionaire Emerges With San Francisco Rentals" By Caleb Melby September 18, 2014
  4. ^ a b c JWeekly: "Charitable Giving: Philanthropist Helen Diller fulfilling lifelong dream to inspire and help others" by renee ghert-zand November 8, 2012
  5. ^ a b c d e f San Francisco gate: "Helen, Sanford Diller fund UCSF cancer center" by Julian Guthrie June 1, 2009
  6. ^ San Francisco Chronicle: "Diller family foundation keeps out of spotlight" by George Raine October 28, 2003
  7. ^ The Tablet Magazine: "Academic Question - San Francisco’s Federation puts new restrictions on its grants, worrying Bay Area Jewish-studies profs" by Marissa Brostoff May 6, 2010
  8. ^ USC: "Helen and Sanford Diller Family Endowment for Jewish Studies" retrieved September 18, 2014
  9. ^ "Pro-Israel donor Adam Milstein denies report that he funds Canary Mission". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  10. ^ Gresh, Alain (September 2018). "The truths that won't be heard". Le Monde Diplomatique. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  11. ^ Maira, S. (2018). Boycott!: The Academy and Justice for Palestine. American Studies Now: Critical Histories of the Present. University of California Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-520-29488-2. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  12. ^ Nathan-Kazis, Josh (10 March 2018). "REVEALED: Canary Mission Blacklist Is Secretly Bankrolled By Major Jewish Federation". The Forward. Retrieved 28 March 2019.

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