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Late comedy writer Mickey Ross, a major Jewish philanthropist

by Danielle Berrin

July 29, 2010 | 1:24 pm

More than a year after his death, the late comedy writer Mickey Ross has proven himself a mega Jewish philanthropist.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Emmy-winning writer/producer of hit sitcoms “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” and “Three’s Company” bequeathed $10 million to The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, a sizable gift, but one in a series of gifts Ross earmarked for the Jewish community.

In addition to the lump sum, Ross committed 50 percent of his residual rights to several TV shows to the foundation, which will establish the Michael and Irene Ross Endowment Fund. According to The Jewish Community Foundation, the fund will have a twofold purpose, providing Southern California’s most vulnerable populations with basic needs as well as funding programs devoted to Yiddish language and culture, one of Ross’s passions.

Ross passed away in May 2009 at the age of 89 from complications related to a stroke and heart attack. His wife, Irene, died in 2000. The couple had no children.

In addition to his comedic legacy in Hollywood, Ross will be remembered through his numerous philanthropic commitments. In 2008, he donated $4 million to endow an academic chair in Yiddish language and culture at UCLA, his alma mater. And, last January, Ross surprised The National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass. with a $3 million donation from his estate.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Danielle Berrin writes the Hollywood Jew blog, a cutting edge, values-based take on the entertainment industry for jewishjournal.com. A Los Angeles Times profile dubbed her...

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