Beverly Hills News – Real Estate Development Pioneer, Philanthropist Guilford Glazer Dead At 93
Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2014 – 11:56 AM
By Matt Lopez
Real estate development pioneer and philanthropist Guilford Glazer died peacefully in his Beverly Hills home Tuesday at 93.
Although in recent years he has become perhaps most well-known for his philanthropic efforts, Glazer first made his mark in Los Angeles in the 1970s when he developed the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, one of the world’s largest shopping malls.
From there, Glazer’s company was involved in shopping center development throughout the country, amassing a fortune that led to him regularly appearing on Forbes’ “List of 400 Richest Americans.”
Glazer was one of seven children born to Eastern European immigrants in Knoxville, Tenn. He studied engineering at George Washington University in Washington D.C. for two years before joining the Navy during World War II, working in ship construction.
Upon returning home from the war, he entered the business world when he took over the family welding shop and turned it into a major steel fabrication business, Glazer Steel Corporation. Glazer Steel fabricated bridges and many other structures for the government of France, among many other customers.
Glazer’s first development was a building in Knoxville that has been described as the city’s “first high-rise apartment building.” He entered the real estate business in 1951, when a company he led was selected by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to build a shopping center in Oak Ridge, Tenn. That shopping center opened in 1955 and not long after, Glazer picked up and moved to Los Angeles.
Glazer told the Knoxville News-Sentinel in 2011 that he moved to Los Angeles because he liked the climate and potential for growth of development.
Since his retirement, Glazer and his wife Diane have resided in Beverly Hills and mainly involved themselves in philanthropic efforts, largely in support of Israel.
The business school of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was established in 1995 and in 2007, was named the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management after a major donation made to the school. Pepperdine University in 2008 opened the Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute of Jewish Studies after donations from the Glazer family.
He is survived by Diane, his children Emerson and Erika, and their families. Services will be held Friday at 11:30 a.m. at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple – Erika J. Glazer Family Campus.