Raymond Perelman: Behind $225M gift to Penn med school

When one of the city’s great benefactors, Raymond Perelman, chose to give a record-breaking $225 million donation to the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school, the historic passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by Congress earlier this year weighed heavily on his decision (which was made with his wife, Ruth).

“If you are going to add 32 million new people to the insurance rolls, there needs to be more doctors available to treat them. Otherwise, our quality of care will suffer similar to England’s and Canada’s,” Perelman said in a recent interview at his Bala Cynwood office that serves as the headquarters for his RGP Holdings.

The Perelmans’ contribution is earmarked to expand the training capacity of the medical school, the nation’s oldest.

“My gift will be used to increase the number of doctors that the medical school trains each year,” Perelman said. “I am hoping that the number of doctors annually trained will jump from approximately 175 now to 500.”

Perelman, who spent a lifetime accumulating a fortune estimated at more than $600 million, is now working just as hard to give it away. “I plan to give away all my money before I die,” he said. “As they say, use it or lose it.”

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