Ruth Levy Gottesman (née Levy, born 1930) is an American educator. Gottesman is the chair of the board of trustees of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM) in the Bronx, New York, and a long-time professor there. In February 2024, she donated $1 billion to AECOM to ensure that tuition would be free in perpetuity to all future students. It is the largest gift ever made to any medical school in the country.[1]

Ruth Gottesman
Ruth Levy

1930 (age 93–94)
(m. 1950; died 2022)
Scientific career
FieldsEducational psychology
InstitutionsAlbert Einstein College of Medicine



Born Ruth Levy, Gottesman graduated from Friends School of Baltimore in 1948.[2] Later that year, she enrolled at Mount Holyoke College.[3] She completed her bachelor's degree at Barnard College. Gottesman earned a master's degree in developmental education and a Doctor of Education in human cognition and learning in the area of educational psychology, both from Teachers College, Columbia University.[4][5]

In 1968, Gottesman joined the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM) at the Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC), where she developed widely used screening, evaluation, and treatment procedures for people with learning disabilities. In 1992, she founded the Adult Literacy Program at CERC, and in 1998, helped to found the Fisher Landau Center for the Treatment of Learning Disabilities.[6] She is a professor emerita in the Department of Pediatrics (Developmental Medicine) and chair of the board of trustees at AECOM.[6]

Gottesman joined AECOM's board of trustees in 2002 and served as chair of the board from 2007 until 2014.[7] Following the death of her successor as chair, Roger W. Einiger, in 2020, she once again became chair. She has also been a member of the Montefiore Health System board of trustees since 2007. The main Montefiore hospital serves as a teaching hospital for the Einstein Medical College.[6]

Personal life


She married David Gottesman in 1950.[8] They met in 1948 before she began her studies at Mount Holyoke College and remained married for 72 years.[8][9] Together, they had three children. They lived in Rye, New York.[8] Forbes valued David's estate at $3 billion at the time of his death.[10]



With her husband David, she donated $25 million to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2008, which was used to found the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research, the Ruth L. Gottesman Clinical Skills Center, and the Faculty Scholar in Epigenetics at the College.[11]

When David died in 2022, he bequeathed a portfolio of stock in Berkshire Hathaway to Ruth, with the instructions for her to do with it as she pleased. Gottesman, in February 2024, announced a $1 billion gift to AECOM to provide free tuition to all its students in perpetuity.[12][13] The donation is the largest one in history given to a U.S. medical school.[13]


  1. ^ Goodwin, Grace Eliza (February 27, 2024). "A widow unexpectedly received $1 billion of Berkshire Hathaway stock. Now, she's covering Bronx med students' tuition forever". Business Insider.
  2. ^ Belson, Dan (February 27, 2024). "After $1B donation from former Baltimore resident, New York City medical school goes tuition-free". The Baltimore Sun. Associated Press. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  3. ^ "NYT: David Gottesman, 96, Wall St. Power and Warren Buffett Partner, Dies". First Manhattan.
  4. ^ "Ruth L. Gottesman, Ed.D." Faculty Profile. Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  5. ^ Adeniji, Ade (April 19, 2016). "The Gottesmans: A Billionaire Family That Supports Jewish Organizations". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c "Faculty Profile – Ruth L. Gottesman, Ed.D." Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Retrieved February 26, 2024.
  7. ^ "Dr. Ruth Gottesman To Be Honored as New Board Chair of Einstein College of Medicine at Gala Dinner". Yeshiva University. May 10, 2024.
  8. ^ a b c Hershey, Robert D.; Traub, Alex (September 29, 2022). "David Gottesman, 96, Wall St. Power and Warren Buffett Partner, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  9. ^ Cramer, Philissa (September 30, 2022). "David Gottesman, 96, Wall St. Power and Warren Buffett Partner, Dies". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  10. ^ Faguy, Ana (February 26, 2024). "Widow Of Billionaire David Gottesman Donates $1 Billion For Free Medical School Tuition". Forbes. Retrieved February 26, 2024.
  11. ^ "Gottesmans Give $25 Million to Support Stem Cell and Epigenomic Research and Clinical Skills Training at Medical School". Yeshiva University. May 14, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2024.
  12. ^ Goldstein, Joseph (February 26, 2024). "$1 Billion Donation Will Provide Free Tuition at a Bronx Medical School". The New York Times. Retrieved February 26, 2024.
  13. ^ a b Oladipo, Gloria (February 26, 2024). "$1bn donation means students at New York medical school will pay no tuition". The Guardian. New York. Retrieved March 30, 2024.