Sol Goldman was a self-made real estate investor who amassed hundreds of properties during his half-century career, becoming the single largest private landlord in New York City. During the Depression while working for his family grocery business in Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Goldman purchased his first building at age 17. By the relatively young age of 47, Mr. Goldman became the biggest non-institutional real estate investor in New York. He ultimately built a portfolio of nearly 600 commercial and residential properties throughout the United States. Perhaps the words of the honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters bestowed upon him by Long Island University best encapsulate his career, "For nearly half a century, almost always you have bought, built and bettered, committing time, energy and money to finding prosperity where others had faltered. Reclaimer and risk-taker, dreamer of buildings and builder of dreams, you are a true urban pioneer." Mr. Goldman was a great philanthropist donating generously to hospitals in New York and the Jewish community worldwide. His legacy as a philanthropist lives on through The Sol Goldman Charitable Trust. Above all, he was a warm and embracing husband, father and grandfather.
The Goldman family was drawn to Johns Hopkins when Lillian Goldman, Sol's wife for nearly fifty years, died of pancreatic cancer in 2002. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was a nurturing, quick-witted soul. As an astute businesswoman, Mrs. Goldman was a strong partner in the highly successful real estate enterprise. Through her philanthropy, she dedicated herself to the task of meeting essential human needs, both immediate and long-term focused on the developmental well-being of children; the equality of opportunity for women; and medical research. Mrs. Goldman was also committed to knowledge. The Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School, in memory of Sol Goldman, serves as an enduring repository of knowledge. This acclaimed center of legal learning in the United States is complemented by Mrs. Goldman's support of scholarship of fellows from around the world.
Thanks to the efforts of the Goldman's talented children-Jane, Amy, Diane and Allan-the real estate business has become a strong and enduring family venture. Jane Goldman, Sol and Lillian's youngest daughter and Trustee of The Sol Goldman Charitable Trust, decided to take action against pancreatic cancer, the disease that took their mother's life. With the help of her husband, Dr. Benjamin Lewis, the family approached the team at Johns Hopkins with the goal of endowing the leading pancreatic cancer research center that would not only combat this terrible disease, but would also honor the legacy of Jane's parents. They chose Johns Hopkins for its established expertise, as well as its cutting-edge, innovative research efforts in the field of pancreatic cancer.