Businessman who gave $650M gift to Cambridge institute, dies at age 85

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NEW CANAAN, Conn. (AP) — Businessman and philanthropist Ted Stanley, who made one of the largest private donations for scientific research, has died, his son said Monday. He was 85.

Stanley died peacefully in his bed overnight at his home in New Canaan, son Jonathan Stanley said. No cause of death was provided.

Ted Stanley made a fortune selling collectibles, beginning with a series of medals commemorating the moon landing in 1969. His Norwalk-based company, MBI, specializes in marketing consumer products.

In 2014, Stanley committed $650 million to the Broad Institute, a biomedical research center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the study of psychiatric disorders. The cause was embraced by Stanley and his late wife, Vada Stanley, after their son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was in college in 1988.

When the gift was announced, Ted Stanley said that after a few difficult years his son responded to medication and was able to enjoy a normal life. He said he wanted a similar outcome for other families.

“I’m just turning over almost all my money, now and through my will, knowing with great certainty that they’re the best equipped to know the best ways to spend it,” Stanley said.

Over the course of his life, he donated more than $825 million in support of work at the Broad Institute, which brings together faculty from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and other collaborators.

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