George Allen Smith,
Philanthropist and Founder of George Smith Partners, Inc.,
Dies at 70
George Allen Smith, a leader in Southern California's real estate finance industry, died Nov. 3 at 70. A graduate of the Harvard Business School, Smith, whose career in the industry spanned four decades, founded George Smith Partners Real Estate, a commercial mortgage brokerage firm, in 1992.
Smith and his wife, Pam, championed many institutions, including The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Museum of Contemporary Art. His chief philanthropic endeavor was the founding of the Ataxia Telangiectasia Research Foundation (A-TMRF), an organization devoted to funding research into a rare neurological disease affecting his daughter, Rebecca. Since its inception in 1984, the A-TMRF granted more than $10 million in research funding worldwide, including the endowment of the Rebecca Smith Chair in A-T Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
"George approached every challenge with a level of confidence that was inspiring and contagious," said Dr. Richard Gatti, who holds the Rebecca Smith Distinguished Professorship at UCLA.
To raise funds for the A-TMRF, Smith initiated the annual George Smith Partners Real Estate Luncheon, an event which now attracts more than 1,500 industry professionals. At this year's event, Smith was presented with an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University.
Smith is survived by his wife, Pam; sons, James and Matthew; daughters, Jill Oaks and Rebecca; grandchildren, Samantha and Hannah; and sister, Eleanor (Gerald) Sorkin.
Donations can be made to the A-TMRF c/o Haskell and Davis, 16000 Ventura Blvd., Suite 806, Encino, CA 91436. -- Nancy Sokoler Steiner, Contributing Writer
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