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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Donates $20 Million To USC For Fellow Billionaire Larry Ellison’s Cancer Treatment Center

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The University of Southern California now has a second tech billionaire contributing to its new cancer treatment center — and he used to work for the first billionaire donor.

On Wednesday, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne announced a $20 million gift to USC to help build a new cancer institute, according to a press release. The gift comes four months after Oracle chairman Larry Ellison pledged to donate $200 million to start the construction of the center, which will bear Ellison’s name. (Ellison is giving the donation over time via gifts of Oracle shares).

“Cancer has deeply impacted our family, and too many other families around the world,” Benioff said in the press release. “We truly believe that by empowering and funding institutions doing important cancer research we will be able to change the course of this disease.” Benioff’s father Russell Benioff died of prostate cancer in 2012.

USC announced the creation of the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC in May, two days before Ellison spoke at USC’s commencement. The center will constructed in West Los Angeles and will include an interdisciplinary cancer research lab, an interactive care clinic, a think tank, a wellness program and community spaces for lectures and classes. The leader of the new institute will be David Agus, who currently runs the USC Center for Applied Molecular Medicine.

Benioff, who Forbes estimates has a $3.7 billion fortune, knows both Ellison and Agus well. Ellison is a mentor to Benioff, who spent 13 years working as Ellison’s protege at Oracle before leaving in 1999 to found Salesforce with Ellison’s financial backing.

“It is such an honor and privilege to work alongside my close friends Lynne and Marc Benioff in trying to make a difference against cancer and in honoring Marc’s father, Russell,” Agus said in the release.

Source: Forbes

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