AUSTIN, Texas, April 6, 2012 – Renowned Philanthropist and LBJ Foundation Board Member Bernard Rapoport has died at the age of 94. Rapoport was a long-time member of the LBJ Foundation Board and supporter of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and The University of Texas at Austin.
Through many gifts over the course of 30 years, Rapoport and his wife Audre established faculty chairs, fellowship funds and scholarship programs supporting faculty and student research in workforce issues, health and social policy and economics.
“We are all greatly saddened by the passing of Bernard Rapoport, who touched so many lives through his benevolence and passion for pursuit of the ‘greater good’. The School has lost a dear friend,” said Robert Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. “B's political and social activism has had a profound influence on decades of policy makers in this country. His legacy is one of a life dedicated to philanthropy, education, political activism and human rights advocacy. We at the School will be forever grateful to be among the beneficiaries of his noble generosity. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends along with our gratitude for all that he gave over an exemplary life.”
The son of Jewish Russian immigrants, Bernard Rapoport was born in 1917 in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1939. In 1951, he and a partner founded the American Income Life Insurance Company, which he developed into a multi-million dollar business. A former University of Texas System regent and major contributor to UT, Rapoport is widely known for his philanthropy and dedication to social justice, education, and other causes.
Rapoport and his wife established the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation in 1989 to support educational, social, cultural and public service entities throughout Texas and around the world. The Foundation supports programs that have the broadest possible impact in meeting important human needs and aspirations, with an emphasis on the needs of the most marginalized members of society.