Younes Nazarian

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Younes Nazarian
OccupationChairman of Nazarian Enterprises
Spouse(s)Soraya Nazarian
ChildrenDavid Nazarian
Sam Nazarian
Shulamit Nazarian
Sharon Nazarian
RelativesIzak Parviz Nazarian (brother)
Angella Nazarian (daughter-in-law)

Younes Nazarian is an Iranian-American businessman, investor and philanthropist. An early investor in Qualcomm, he is the Chairman of Nazarian Enterprises. He is also a major donor to charitable causes in California and Israel.

Early life[edit]

Younes Nazarian was born in Iran.[1] His father died when he was three years old. After losing his fortune amassed as a construction contractor during the Iranian Revolution of 1979,[2] he immigrated to the United States with his brother Izak Parviz Nazarian, settling in Beverly Hills, California.[1][3]


In 1980, borrowing against monies owed to their confiscated Iranian business by European companies, Younes and his brother were able to purchase precision tool manufacturer, Standard Tool & Die (Stadco).[2] Younes believed that Standard Tool would benefit from the U.S. space shuttle program.[2] Younes, his brother, and his nephew-in-law Neil Kadisha then bought into Omninet, a technology company that had developed a wireless protocol that enabled trucking companies to keep track of their vehicles.[2] Recognizing its potential, he presented the technology to Qualcomm founder Irwin M. Jacobs who offered Younes a major stake in Qualcomm in exchange for Omninet.[2][4] He later served on its board of directors.[4]

He serves as the chairman of Nazarian Enterprises, a diversified investment vehicle.[3] He is the co-owner of Stadco, a manufacturer of aerospace products.[3] He serves as the secretary of the board of directors of ANG, Inc., a manufacturer of military products headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire.[3]


Nazarian is the founder of the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation and its Israeli sister organization, the Ima Foundation.[5]

Nazarian is the former chairman of the board of governors of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and the Haifa Foundation.[3] He serves on the board of directors of the Sapir Academic College,[3] where the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Academic Library is named in his honor.[6] The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Pre-Academic Library Of the Ima Foundation at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is also named in his honor.[7] In 2007, he donated $119,000 to the University of Haifa in the form of 119 scholarships of $1,000 to commemorate the Israeli casualties of the 2006 Lebanon War.[1] That same year, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the university.[3] Additionally, he serves as a member of the "Public Standing from abroad" on its board of governors.[8] In mid 2017, Younes donated $17,000,000 to the Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge. The performing arts center will have a name change in honor of Younes' wife, Soraya (it will also be known as "The Soraya").[9][10]

Nazarian endowed the Beit Midrash Fellowship at the Milken Community High School in Bel Air.[3] He has also endowed the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).[3] The Nazarian Pavilion in the Doheny Library on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) was also built as a result of a charitable gift from Nazarian.[3] In 2017, Nazarian and his wife donated $17 million to the California State University, Northridge, where the Valley Performing Arts Centre was renamed the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts.[11][10]

Nazarian is the former chairman of the Habib Levy Cultural & Educational Foundation. He served on the board of trustees of the Jewish Federation and Jewish Television Network.[3] He has served at the Sinai Temple, a Conservative synagogue in Westwood.[3]

Nazarian serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the RAND Corporation.[3] He serves on the board of directors for the Friends of IDF, a fundraising non-profit organization for the Israel Defense Forces.[3]

Nazarian was a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2011.[3]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Soraya Sarah Nazarian, a sculptor.[1] They have two sons David Nazarian and Sam Nazarian, and two daughters, Shulamit Nazarian and Sharon Nazarian.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Briefs: Scholarships memorialize fallen Israeli troops, Prizant and Federation settle suit, Teriton residents block evictions, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, August 9, 2007
  2. ^ a b c d e Bloomberg: "Sam Nazarian Wants You to Sleep with Him" By Karl Taro Greenfeld December 01, 2011
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Younes Nazarian". Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  4. ^ a b Letisia Marquez, UCLA's Israel Studies Center named for L.A. philanthropists Younes and Soraya Nazarian, UCLA Newsroom, June 2, 2010
  5. ^ Ima Foundation Israel: Founders
  6. ^ Sapir Academic College: Welcome to the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Academic library website
  7. ^ The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Libraries
  8. ^ University of Haifa Board of Trustees
  9. ^ Valley Performing Arts Center
  10. ^ a b "Nazarian family donates $17 million to CSUN's Valley Performing Arts Center". Los Angeles Times. 2017-07-18. Retrieved 2019-08-10.
  11. ^ "Nazarian Family Donates $17M Gift To CSUN Performing Arts Center" (PDF). The Beverly Hills Courier. July 21, 2017. pp. 1, 16. Retrieved July 22, 2017.

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