Jewish American billionaire Trump adviser donates £150m to Oxford University

Stephen Schwarzman gives the largest ever single donation ever to a UK university


Stephen Schwarzman, the Jewish American private equity billionaire who has advised Donald Trump, has donated £150 million to Oxford University - the largest single donation ever to a UK university.

The gift will fund a new institute that is to study the ethics of artificial intelligence and humanities research.

Mr Schwarzman, the chief executive of the private equity firm Blackstone, is one of America's best known billionaires.

Two years ago after serving on President Trump’s Business Council, he revealed he had received hate mail accusing him of being a “Nazi” even though he is Jewish.

“You should’ve seen some of the mail I got,” Mr Schwarzman said. “I was accused by people of being a Nazi. I mean I’m Jewish. It was absurd.”

He said he was donating the sum to Oxford University for further research to allay concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence on society.

He was approached by Oxford vice-chancellor Professor Louise Richardson in December 2017 over a plan to build a new centre £230 million institute.

Mr Schwarzman said:”We have the core of values and knowledge of western civilisation in one place and we can use that knowledge to inform the dialogue going on globally by a small group of people who are devoloping (AI) technology.”

The 72-year-old grew up in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. His father owned a dry goods store in Philadelphia. He once said his father was “very bright” and his mother had an “enormous drive.”

After attending Harvard, he said he was the second Jew to be offered a job at Morgan Stanley.

Mr Schwarzman has donated to the New York Public Library and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the past – but there has been criticism over his insistence institutions he donates to renames themselves in his honour.

Oxford's Vice Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson said “due diligence” was carried out over most recent donation.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive