Morris "Marty" Silverman, who established the nation's richest prize for medical research, recently passed away in New York City at the age of 93, the Associated Press reports.
Using $40 million in proceeds from the 1984 sale of his company, National Equipment Rental, Silverman established the New York City-based Marty and Dorothy Silverman Foundation. Then, in 2000, he pledged $50 million to create the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, the amount to be disbursed over the next century in annual awards of $500,000 each. Through his foundation, which today has assets of $300 million, Silverman contributed to academic, Jewish, veterans, and social causes, supported programs to help neglected children and indigent seniors, and provided housing in Israel for thousands of former Soviet Jews. The New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center in Saratoga Springs and the Holocaust Museum in Houston were also established with his support.
In 1995, Silverman founded Renaissance Corp., an Albany-based nonprofit that is creating the University Heights complex in an area of the city that includes the medical center, a law school, a college of pharmacy, and the Sage Colleges. In describing Silverman, James Barba, president and chief executive of Albany Medical Center, once said the philanthropist combined "visionary character with a sort of little boy rascality."