37. James Simons

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37. James Simons

Investor

2004-08 Giving* $275 million

The renowned mathematician and hedge fund manager gave $60 million this year to create the Simons Center for Geometry & Physics at State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he had previously taught. It's the largest gift ever to any institution in the state's university system. Last year he gave $10 million to the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, where Simons serves on the board of directors. His foundation has also given out millions in grants to fund autism research, among other efforts in math and science. And Simons is the founder and chairman of Math for America, a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve math education in public schools.

For more, visit the Simons Foundation topic on Business Exchange.

*Based on public records and interviews with donors
Data: BusinessWeek, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University