Ladbrokes founder Cyril Stein dies

By Marcus Dysch, February 16, 2011

Philanthropist Cyril Stein, the former chairman of the Ladbrokes betting company, has died.

Mr Stein was a key fundraiser and supporter of the JNF and was UJIA honorary vice-president.

He was in his early 80s and died in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Mr Stein founded the Ladbroke betting business and floated it on the London Stock Exchange in 1967. At the time it was worth £1 million.

When he left the company in 1994 it was valued at around £2 billion. His personal wealth was estimated at £60m in 2008.

Mr Stein was chair of the JNF’s £10m project to redevelop the Negev.

In 2007 he funded the construction of a property in the Israeli settlement of Givat Harel in the West Bank, although he did not move from London to live there.

Samuel Hayek, JNF UK chairman, said: "JNF is saddened by the passing of Cyril Stein. He was a true and passionate Zionist who worked hard to create a better Israel, particularly through the development of the Negev region.

“His support for Israel and the global Jewish community was unwavering. His passing is a loss to the Anglo-Jewish community.”

In 1991 Mr Stein clashed with then Chief Rabbi Lord Jakobovits who had described the plight of Palestinian refugees as a “stain on humanity”.

Mr Stein was vice-president of the Joint Israel Appeal (JIA) at the time. He wrote to Lord Jakobovits: “The foolishness of your latest outburst is beyond comprehension.”

Last updated: 1:55pm, February 16 2011