Weisman, Frederick R.

Weisman, Frederick R.

(1912–  ) businessman, art collector, philanthropist; born in Minneapolis, Minn. Child of Russian immigrants, he moved to Los Angeles in the 1930s, entered the produce business, joined Hunt Foods, and eventually became the president of the giant food conglomerate (and married the daughter of its founder, Norton Simon). In 1970 he established Mid-Atlantic Toyota Distributors, which imported Toyota vehicles into the mid-Atlantic; when he sold the distributorship in 1990 he further increased his already large fortune. For many years he had been collecting paintings and sculpture—mostly modern American—some of which he donated to museums; but about 350 prime works remained in his mansion in Holmby Hills, outside Los Angeles, which he intended to remain as a private museum. He gave such large sums to various other museums that at least four assigned his name to them. He also donated large sums to various medical institutions, particularly to the Venice (Calif.) Family Clinic that serves the poor and homeless.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.