Born In Philadelphia

Kimmel is born in 1928 to a family of modest means in South Philadelphia.


Great Depression Begins

The stock market crash leads to the Great Depression, forcing Kimmel’s father to abandon a career as a musician to work as a cab driver. The Kimmels would move from apartment to apartment because of financial hardship.


Briefly Attends Temple University and Serves in the United States Army

Kimmel serves two tours in the United States Army then returns to Philadelphia to attend Temple University.


Sidney Kimmel Enters the World of Fashion

Having left school to take his first job in the garment business as an inventory clerk, Kimmel establishes himself in the fashion industry and quickly becomes president of The Villager.


Founds Jones Apparel Division at W.R. Grace & Company, Serving as President

Kimmel leaves The Villager for W.R. Grace & Company, where he serves as Founder and President of Jones Apparel Division.


Buys the Jones New York Label From W.R. Grace

Kimmel buys the Jones New York label from W.R. Grace and establishes Jones Apparel Group as an independent company.


Kimmel Begins Producing Films

Sidney Kimmel begins his career in the entertainment industry, producing his first three motion pictures—Clan of the Cave Bear, 9½ Weeks, and Blame It on Rio—between 1984 and 1986.


Jones Apparel Group Goes Public

After leading Jones Apparel Group through a major overhaul in the late 1980s, Kimmel takes Jones public on the New York Stock Exchange. The company surpasses the $1 billion annual sales mark in 1996.


Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Sidney Kimmel makes an initial pledge of $12 million to the development of a new performing arts center in Philadelphia. That commitment eventually grows to $63 million.



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Temple University and Temple University Hospital

Sidney Kimmel gives $2.5 million to Temple University and Temple University Hospital to promote the continued strength of this Philadelphia institution.


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Sidney Kimmel Foundation’s gift of $5 million is among the earliest of the lead gifts and is recognized by the naming of the Special Exhibition Gallery. The Gallery hosts exhibits that encourage visitors to think and act with a sense of moral responsibility to others and to society.

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Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University

Recognizing Thomas Jefferson University as a “great Philadelphia institution” leading the way in cancer research, Sidney Kimmel donates $10 million to Jefferson’s cancer center, the largest individual gift to the university at the time.

“I am thrilled with Mr. Kimmel’s commitment to help Jefferson fight the war against cancer,” said Jefferson’s then-president, Paul Brucker. This gift would be used to support research programs and fund Jefferson’s endowment, securing the future of its innovative cancer initiatives.

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Survivors of the Shoah Foundation

Sidney Kimmel’s commitment to the preservation of his Jewish history motivates his $1 million gift to the USC Shoah Foundation, which houses the world’s largest Visual History Archive of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides.

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Kimmel Scholars Program established

With the creation of the Kimmel Scholars Program, the Sidney Kimmel Foundation has changed the future of cancer research. Since its inception, 262 of the nation’s most promising young cancer researchers have received this prestigious Award and gone on to become leaders in their fields.

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Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, San Diego

Kimmel gives $24 million to establish a cancer research think tank, now part of the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego.


Sidney Kimmel Makes Major Gifts to Fight Cancer

In 1998 and 1999, Kimmel makes significant contributions to the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship ($1.5 million), the March on Washington to Conquer Cancer* ($1.5 million), and the National Foundation for Cancer Research ($1.5 million).

*The contribution to the March on Washington was underwritten with personal funds, not through the Sidney Kimmel Foundation.


Sidney and Caroline Kimmel wed

Sidney and Caroline Kimmel are married in Palm Beach, FL.

See more of their early life together.


Elton John AIDS Foundation

Kimmel gives $2 million to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the top funder for LGBTQ health issues and one of the world’s largest HIV grant-makers.


Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia

Sidney Kimmel invests in future generations of the North American Jewish community with gifts totaling $25 million to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. His contributions support programs and initiatives that bolster awareness and strengthen connections.

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Raymond and Ruth Perelman Jewish Day School

The Sidney Kimmel Foundation’s gift of $25 million to the Perelman Jewish Day School is a cornerstone of Jewish continuity in Philadelphia and a model for the rest of the country. The gift secures vibrancy at this school, essential to the well-being of the city’s Jewish community.

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Sidney Kimmel Center for Prostate & Urologic Cancers, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

The Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research makes a gift for translational research and direct patient care for those suffering from prostate and urologic cancers. The $25 million gift results in the development of the state-of-the-art Sidney Kimmel Center for Prostate & Urologic Cancers at Sloan Kettering.

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Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University

When Sidney Kimmel wanted to make an unparalleled commitment to the treatment of cancer, he chose the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital. Kimmel’s extraordinary efforts aimed at the eradication of cancer follow a simple strategy: Invest in the best people at the best places. The Foundation’s $157 million gift to the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins does just that.

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Sidney Kimmel Laboratory for Preventive Cardiology, Thomas Jefferson University

The Sidney Kimmel Foundation pledges $2.5 million to establish a cardiology research and education center.

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Barnes Foundation

Sidney Kimmel further strengthens Philadelphia’s capacity for the arts with a $1 million gift to the Barnes Foundation, home to a renowned collection of Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings.

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National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center is the first and only institution devoted to one of the most powerful visions of freedom ever written: the United States Constitution. Recognizing how the Constitution Center would enhance Kimmel’s beloved Philadelphia as the most historical mile in the country, the Kimmel Foundation contributes $5 million to ensure its development.


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National Museum of American Jewish History

Sidney Kimmel recognizes the importance of the story told at the National Museum of American Jewish History — that Only in America can freedom foster success and achievement for people of all backgrounds — and commits $25 million to transform the Museum’s presence on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall.

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Steps down as CEO of the Jones Group

Kimmel steps down as CEO and sells most of his shares in the Jones Group.


The New School, New York

The Sidney Kimmel Foundation commits $11 million to support this progressive university.


Launches Sidney Kimmel Entertainment

After stepping down as CEO of Jones in 2002, Kimmel turns his focus to another love in his life–producing films. Sidney Kimmel Entertainment has produced more than 40 feature films, including United 93, The Kite Runner, Moneyball, The Lincoln Lawyer, and The Age of Adaline.

See more examples of Sidney Kimmel Entertainment films.


Stand Up To Cancer

Entertainers, celebrities — and Sidney Kimmel — participate in the national broadcast of this effort, raising funds to bring forward innovative, breakthrough ideas for the detection and treatment of cancer. The Sidney Kimmel Foundation joins in this Entertainment Industry Foundation campaign, pledging $25 million to support cancer research Dream Teams.

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The Giving Pledge

The Warren Buffett and Bill Gates initiative encouraging America’s billionaires to contribute half of their wealth to charitable endeavor epitomizes the ideals of the Sidney Kimmel Foundation. Mr. Kimmel readily signs in 2010.

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Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance, University of Missouri

The Sidney Kimmel Foundation gives $5.5 million to establish a research institute focused on the development of clean energy alternatives.

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Kimmel Donates Painting to the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Sidney Kimmel gives Le Beau Temps, painted in 1939 by American artist Man Ray, to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This important piece of Surrealist art strengthens the Museum’s Modern Art collection and reinforces its stature as a leading cultural institution.

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Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University

The Sidney Kimmel Foundation makes an unprecedented $110 million contribution to Jefferson’s medical college, which is renamed in Mr. Kimmel’s honor.  The gift will be used to fund scholarships, attract top faculty and expand cutting edge programs, all distinguishing Thomas Jefferson University as being in the vanguard of innovative medical education and care.

“To say it’s transformational is an understatement,” said Stephen Klasko, President of Thomas Jefferson University.

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Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

Sidney Kimmel joins with philanthropist and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to provide essential funding for the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins.  Each will contribute $50 million towards the establishment of this unprecedented institute focused on a most promising area of cancer research.

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AACR Distinguished Public Service Award

Sidney Kimmel was presented with the American Association for Cancer Research’s Distinguished Public Service Award in recognition of his philanthropic commitment to advances in cancer research, for fostering the careers of young researchers, and for his steadfast advocacy on behalf of cancer research.


Caroline Kimmel Biomedical Research Building, Thomas Jefferson University

The Sidney Kimmel Foundation makes a $70 million contribution to Thomas Jefferson University for the construction of a new flagship research facility to be named the Caroline Kimmel Biomedical Research Building, in honor of Mr. Kimmel’s wife.

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