Ernest Rady, the son of Rose and Max Rady, is the scion of one of Winnipeg's most philanthropic families.
Rady was once listed among Forbes richest people in the world. After earning University of Manitoba degrees in Commerce and Law (earning the University Gold Medal in Commerce), he founded American Assets Inc., which deals in financial services, investment management and real estate. He also founded Westcorp (a NYSE-traded financial services company), was chairman and president of the Insurance Company of the West, and has been affiliated with Canadian companies including Silpit Industries, Canadian Sportswear, Olympic Sportswear, Keystone Resources, Ltd., and Canpac Enterprises, Ltd.
In 2003, he gave $30 million to the Graduate School of Management at the University of California San Diego, since renamed the Rady School of Management.
Three years later, in 2006, Rady topped that gift when he gave $60 million to the Children's Hospital and Health Center of San Diego, their largest gift ever.
Rady teamed with his sisters, Marjorie and Mindel in 2007 to support their shared alma mater. Together they decided to create the Mindermar Professorship at the University of Manitoba, which helps the university train students to be better doctors.
Here are excerpts from an interview with Ernest Rady:
"My father was an immigrant from Russia. He graduated from the medical school here 95 years ago. He came to Canada, his sister and brother-in-law were farmers here, and he lived with them in a spare room. He got into medical school in spite of the fact he spoke Russian and he'd learned French. There was, then, a quota on Jews getting into the medical school; he got in.
“I went to school here, I got a degree in business and law, and the culture in Winnipeg gave me a great background with which to live my life. So I'm grateful for what this has done for my wife, who was also born here, my mother, who was born here, and one of our children was born here. So, at this stage of life, it's not so much what you can do for yourself, it's hopefully what you're going to do for others. What people will remember is not the good fortune that I've enjoyed but the good fortune that I've been able to help others with. That's why I'm doing it."
"It's not so much my story as my father's story. My father loved helping people. Hopefully they (graduating medical students) will take the profession they've worked so hard to attain and continue the legacy that my father created by saying 'I love to help people' and will improve the lives of and health of their fellow citizens."
"He loved practicing medicine, loved helping people. He used to tell me that, 'Ernest, when a patient could come and tell me, Doctor, you saved my life, it was like a million dollars.'"