Charles Bronfman: A Lifetime of Giving
For 30 years, Mr. Bronfman was Chairman of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies (ACBP), a group of foundations operating in Canada, Israel, and the United States.
Mr. Bronfman has spent much of his life as an active businessman. Following a 50-year career with the Seagram Company Ltd., he retired in 2001 as Co-Chairman. For 22 years, he was the Chairman and Principal Owner of the Montreal Expos, the first Major League Baseball club to exist outside the United States; the team was sold in 1991. From November 1997 until May 2006, Bronfman was Chairman of Koor Industries Ltd., a leading Israeli investment holding company that focused on high-growth, internationally-oriented companies in Israel.
“This Prize is the most wonderful present that a parent could possibly receive. Why? Because the reasoning for it was — and remains — so profound. Our laureates have become an ever-growing fellowship of changemakers whose collective work continues to improve the world. A gift from my children has become a noble gift to humanity. What greater honor could a father receive?”—Charles Bronfman
Over a memorable 24-hour period in 1992, Mr. Bronfman was honored to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the World Series in Toronto, the first such contest to be played outside the United States. The following afternoon at the Governor General’s residence, in Ottawa, he became a Member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and later that evening was elevated to Companion of the Order of Canada, that country’s highest civilian honor.
In 2009, Mr. Bronfman co-authored The Art of Giving with Jeffrey Solomon, president of ACBP. The book earned a Gold Medal in the Philanthropy/Charity/ Nonprofit category of the Axiom Business Books Awards. Their second publication, The Art of Doing Good, followed in 2012. Mr. Bronfman’s biography, Distilled: A Memoir of Family, Seagram, Baseball & Philanthropy, which became a bestseller in Canada, was published in 2016. His collaborator was Howard Green, a noted Canadian television personality and author.
In 1999, Mr. Bronfman was appointed the first Chairman of United Jewish Communities, now the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). He is Co-Founder of Birthright Israel, a highly regarded program that was created to serve as a gift from one generation to the next, providing an educational travel experience to Israel for young Jewish adults.
Mr. Bronfman is Founding Co-Chairman of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and of Historica Canada, on whose boards he currently sits. He is also an honorary board member of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Israel Policy Forum, chairing its Advisory Council.
Mr. Bronfman holds honorary degrees from universities located in Canada, the U.S. and Israel.