Bill Davidson, self-made billionaire, noted sports owner, and one of the great philanthropists of his era, died today at age 86.
At various times, he owned several different professional sports teams, most notably the Detroit Pistons, which he bought in 1974, turning leadership over to basketball professionals, resulting in a long, successful run as one of the top teams in the NBA, winning three NBA titles during his tenure.
He also build several successful businesses, most notably, Guardian Industries Corp.
His greatest achievements, however, were in making the lives of other people better, with his extravagant philanthropy, his donations totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, and $75 million alone to establish the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem.
Rich sports-teams owners are a dime a dozen. Men like Bill Davidson are few and far between.