Iowa Philanthropist Richard Jacobson Dies

Apr 1, 2016

One of the Iowa's most generous philanthropists has died at the age of 79.  Richard Jacobson grew up in Belmond. He died today at his home in Florida.

Jacobson used the wealth he built as owner of a Des Moines-based shipping company to support many causes in the areas of health care, education and the Iowa State Fair.  His large gifts include $15 million to the University of Northern Iowa’s College of Education and $100 million to the Mayo Clinic, the largest gift Mayo has ever received from a single donor.

His name is attached to a 110,000 square foot livestock arena on the Iowa State Fairgrounds, a building he gave $3.5 million for its construction. On the day it was dedicated in 2010 he spoke with Iowa Public Radio’s John Pemble about how he chooses to donate his money.