John Arrillaga

John Arrillaga (born 1937) is a billionaire American real estate developer and philanthropist. He is one of the largest landowners in Silicon Valley.[2]

John Arrillaga
Born1937 (age 82–83)[1]
EducationStanford University
OccupationReal estate developer
Home townPortola Valley, California, US
Net worthUS$2.2 billion (April 2020)[1]
Frances Marion Cook Arrillaga
(m. 1968; her death 1995)

Gioia Fasi Arrillaga
Children2, including Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen
RelativesMarc Andreessen (son-in-law)

Early lifeEdit

John Arrillaga is one of five children born into a lower-middle-class home with his mother, Freida, and father, Gabriel, who traced his roots to the Basque region.[2][3] He attended Morningside High School in Inglewood, California and graduated in 1955. He attended Stanford University on a basketball scholarship, and was a first-team All-AAWU selection in 1960. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta, and graduated in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in geography .[1]


In the 1960s, Arrillaga and business partner Richard Peery bought California farmland and converted it into office space.[1] They became two of Silicon Valley's biggest commercial landlords with more than 12,000,000 square feet (1,100,000 m2).[4]

In 2006, he sold 5,300,000 sq ft (490,000 m2) of his real estate holdings for roughly $1.1 billion.[1]


Arrillaga is known for his support of Stanford University.[5] The alumni center, the Frances C. Arrillaga Building, is named in memory of his first wife, and other athletic facilities carry his surname. In May 2006, Arrillaga gave $100 million to Stanford.[6]

In June 2013, he donated $151 million to Stanford, the largest individual donation from a living donor in the university's history.[7][1]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1968, Arrillaga married Frances Marion Cook Arrillaga, a teacher and librarian.[8] She died on October 13, 1995 in her Palo Alto home of lung cancer, aged 54.[8] They had two children together, John Jr and Laura.[8] Their daughter Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen is married to Marc Andreessen, who co-authored the Mosaic and Netscape web browsers, and is co-founder of several web technology enterprises. His son John Arrillaga, Jr. is married to Justine Stamen Arrillaga, founder of the TEAK Fellowship.[9]

Some years after the death of his first wife, Arrillaga married Gioia Fasi, a former lawyer from Honolulu, Hawaii, and they reside in Portola Valley, California.[2][1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Forbes profile: John Arrillaga". Forbes. 30 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Mangalindan, JP (7 July 2014). "The secretive billionaire who built Silicon Valley". Fortune. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Basque Studies Debut" Archived 2011-06-10 at the Wayback Machine (March/April 2007) Stanford Magazine. Retrieved 05 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Forbes World's Richest People 2003". Forbes. 2003.
  5. ^ Fainaru-Wada, Mark (2001-02-25). "Silent Partner / Billionaire Arrillaga has quietly been the primary benefactor behind Stanford's athletic success". San Francisco Chronicle.
  6. ^ "Arrillaga gives $100 million to Stanford in largest single gift ever from individual". Stanford Report. May 26, 2006.
  7. ^ Stangel, Luke. "John Arrillaga writes $150 million check to Stanford, the largest donation from a living individual ever". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  8. ^ a b c "Deaths:Frances Arrillaga, philanthropist and volunteer". October 13, 1995. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  9. ^ "2012 In-Kind Gifts & Special Thanks". TEAK Fellowship. Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.