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Moise Safra, billionaire philanthropist, dies at 79

by JTA

June 16, 2014 | 11:51 am

<em>Moise Safra, image via valor.com</em>

Moise Safra, image via valor.com

Moise Safra, a billionaire banker and philanthropist, died at 79 in Brazil.

Safra died Sunday at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo two days after suffering a heart attack, according to Reuters. He reportedly had struggled with Parkinson’s disease for several years.

Safra and his brothers, Joseph and Edmond, were scions of a Syrian Jewish banking family with roots in Aleppo, where Safra was born in 1935. In the mid-1950s, Safra settled in Brazil and co-founded the Safra Group of Banks with his brothers. In 2006, Safra sold his portion of the family business to brother Joseph for a reported $2 billion, according to Forbes.

Bloomberg News reported that at the time of his death, Safra’s net worth was an estimated $3.4 billion.

Safra also was a major donor to international Jewish charities, including the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital. His wife, Chella, is the treasurer of the World Jewish Congress.

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