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Bill and Sue Gross

Bill and Sue Gross

Bill and Sue Gross

Edited 28th April, 2016

Amount donated: Approximately $700m to date

Philanthropic Causes: Health, charity, education

Region of philanthropic focus: United States, Africa

Ranking: Forbes list him at #906 of the world’s billionaires as of 28th April, 2016

Net Worth: Forbes put his real time net worth at $1.95bn as of 28th April, 2016

Source of wealth: PIMCO, investments

‘Count Bill Gross among the world’s biggest philanthropists,Bloomberg reported in their interview with the bond investor in May, 2015. At that time Gross had given away, ‘as much as $700m and eventually will donate his remaining $2bn fortune, a figure that’s “staggering, even to me,” Gross said.

Self-made William Hunt Gross, known as Bill, was born on the 13th April, 1944 in Middletown, Ohio to parents, Shirley (Tait) and Sewell Mark Gross. He graduated from Duke University in 1966 as an Angier B. Duke Scholar, and with a degree in psychology. In 1968 he married Pamela Roberts with whom he had two children, Jeff and Jennifer. Later divorcing in 1985, Gross married Sue J. Frank and they had a son, Nick. After graduation, he served as a naval officer on a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam, before obtaining his MBA in 1971 from the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 1971, 72-year-old Gross amassed his wealth as co-founder of Pacific Investment Management Co., the world’s largest fixed-income management firm. He obtained his reputation as the ‘bond king’ through propagating years of industry-leading returns as manager of the PIMCO Total Return Fund. When the firm’s assets neared $2tn in 2013, PIMCO paid him a huge bonus of $290m. After 43 years, Gross left PIMCO to join Janus on September 26, 2014.

In 2005, Gross donated $23.5m to his former residence of study, Duke University $20m of which was set aside for financial aid. In 2006, Gross donated $9.1m to Doctors Without Borders, which he earned from the auction of his British philatelic collections at Shreves Philatelic Galleries. Over the years, Gross has become the largest donor in history to Doctors Without Borders at approximately $25m. His Scandinavian and Finnish collections were sold by Spink auction house in May 2008 to make a donation to Jeffrey Sachs Millennium Villages Project at Columbia University. 

Gross and his wife, Sue donated $20m to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian for women’s health and a further $10m to the University of California in Irvine to found a stem cell research centre at its school of medicine. They went on to donate $20m to Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles for the new Sue and Bill Gross Surgery and Procedure Centre in 2012 and in 2013 they donated another $20m to Mercy Ships, which went towards building a new hospital ship that delivers medical services to the poor. In honour of their donation, the hospital on board the ship was named the Sue and Bill Gross Healing Hospital.

Sue is president of the William and Sue Gross Family Foundation, through which they have

donated generously to healthcare and educational institutions worldwide. The couple, whom reside in Laguna Beach, not far from the UCI campus, donated $40m to the University of California, to establish a nursing school. Sue said: “We’re proud to partner with UCI to help solve some of the most pressing healthcare needs of our generation…We expect our support for a nursing school to have a broad impact, as the demand for nurses and their teachers touches the heart of our healthcare system.”