Hillman Estate to Allocate $800 Million to Pittsburgh-Area Foundations

Most of billionaire financier Henry L. Hillman's $800 million fortune will be disbursed to fourteen philanthropies run by the Hillman family, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Hillman, who died last month at the age of 98, directed approximately $700 million to the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, which will use the bequest to ramp up its giving to organizations in the Pittsburgh area to about $40 million, from $7 million currently. The remainder of the estate will be allocated to thirteen foundations headed by Hillman's four children and nine grandchildren. Under terms of Hillman's will, the foundations run by his children will each receive $15 million, while his grandchildren’s foundations will each receive $5 million. Four funds controlled by the family foundations — the original Hillman Foundation, two foundations established for Hillman's sisters, and the Elsie H. Hillman Foundation, which was created in 2006 with an initial gift of $10 million — will not receive any additional funds from the estate.

Although Hillman and his wife, Elsie, who died in 2015, were best recognized for the millions of dollars they contributed to high-profile projects like UPMC's Hillman Cancer Center, the University of Pittsburgh's Hillman Library, and the Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies at Carnegie Mellon University, the couple's giving reached deep into the community, underwriting countless initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life in region. The infusion of money into the Hillman foundations boosts their combined assets to $1.2 billion, from $435 million, and moves them into the ranks of the top four foundations in Pittsburgh by assets, after the Richard King Mellon Foundation and Heinz Endowments and roughly on par with the Pittsburgh Foundation.

"I think Henry Hillman and the Hillman legacy has been one of very personal involvement in the community," said Grant Oliphant, president of the Heinz Endowments. "[His bequest] illustrates one of the ways in which Pittsburgh has been especially blessed over the years with philanthropists who not only leave behind large legacies, but leave them for the benefit of this community and region in particular."

Joyce Gannon. "Hillman's $800 Million Fortune Will Largely Benefit Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 05/11/2017.