David Gottesman

David Sanford "Sandy" Gottesman (born April 26, 1926)[3][4] is an American businessman and billionaire who founded First Manhattan Co. (FMC).[5]

David Gottesman
Born (1926-04-26) April 26, 1926 (age 96)[1]
Alma materTrinity College, Columbia University, Harvard University (MBA)
OccupationBusinessman, Investor
Known forEarly investor in Berkshire Hathaway
Spouse(s)Ruth Levy
ChildrenRobert, William, Alice
Parent(s)Esther Garfunkel Gottesman
Benjamin Gottesman
FamilySamuel Gottesman (uncle)

Early life and educationEdit

Gottesman was born to a Jewish family in New York City, the son of Esther (née Garfunkel) and Benjamin Gottesman.[6][7] He has two siblings, Milton and Alice.[6] He is a nephew of American pulp-paper merchant, financier, and philanthropist Samuel Gottesman. He received his undergraduate degree from Trinity College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.[7]


Gottesman founded the investment advisory firm First Manhattan Co. in 1964.[4][8] He began a friendship with Warren Buffett in 1962.[4] He was an early investor in Berkshire Hathaway and today owns 17,202 shares (class A), worth $8.1 billion in 2021.[9] He joined the Berkshire Hathaway board of directors in 2003.[4]


In 2008, Gottesman donated $25 million to the Yeshiva University Medical School.[2] This gift was used to form the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, which operates as a stem cell research center.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Gottesman lives in Rye, New York with his wife, Ruth (née Levy), to whom he has been married for over sixty years. Ruth has a bachelor's from Barnard College, and a master's degree in Developmental Education and an Ed.D. in Human Cognition and Learning in the area of Educational Psychology both from Teachers College, Columbia University.[11][12] Together, they have three children and seven grandchildren. He is an avid swimmer.[13] Gottesman is a trustee of the Mount Sinai Medical Center and is Vice Chairman and trustee of the American Museum of Natural History.[2]


  1. ^ "The World's Billionaires (2010): #655 David Gottesman". Forbes. March 3, 2010. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Net worth: $1.5 billion
  2. ^ a b c Forbes: The World's Billionaires - David Gottesman January 2018
  3. ^ Who's who in Finance and Industry. August 1975. ISBN 9780837903194.
  4. ^ a b c d "BRK.A on CNBC". CNBC. October 18, 2013. Net worth: $3.0 billion
  5. ^ Schroeder, Alice (2008), "29 (footnote six)", The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, Random House, ISBN 9780553905496
  6. ^ a b New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths GOTTESMAN, ESTHER" October 05, 1997
  7. ^ a b Forbes Israel: Jewish Billionaires - Profile of David Gottesman April 14, 2013 (in Hebrew)
  8. ^ First Manhattan Co., Business Week
  9. ^ https://www.berkshirehathaway.com/2021ProxyStmt.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  10. ^ "About the Institute | Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine", Einstein.yu.edu Retrieved on December 16, 2014.
  11. ^ Albert Einstein College of Medicine Faculty Profile
  12. ^ Inside Philanthropy Magazine: "The Gottesmans: A Billionaire Family That Supports Jewish Organizations" by Ade Adeniji April 19, 2016
  13. ^ My Rye: Rye People: David Gottesman

External linksEdit