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(L-R) Gail Asper, David Asper and Leonard Asper.

(L-R) Gail Asper, David Asper and Leonard Asper.

35 years of doing ‘something useful’; for U of M, for the world

The late Israel “Izzy” Asper was as well-known for his business savvy and philanthropy as he was for his straight-talk.

So when the visionary media tycoon established The Asper Foundation in 1983, he wasted no time sugar-coating his expectations of the family’s charitable organization to his children – David, Gail, and Leonard.

“Fight all you like about business,” he said, “but what will keep you together as a family is that you’ll have the Asper Foundation, which will give you the opportunity to do something useful with your lives.”

As the Foundation celebrated its 35thanniversary this past Saturday, it is undeniable that the Aspers – along with family friend and executive director Moe Levy – have taken Izzy’s words to heart.

The Asper Foundation is behind some of the most world-renowned human rights projects, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Holocaust Studies Program at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies in Israel.

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