Stephen and Barbara Benioff Friedman

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Former Chairman of Goldman Sachs; Stone Point Capital

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Youth, Health, Human Services, Arts & Culture, Environment, Jewish Causes, Global Development, NYC Community.

OVERVIEW: Stephen Friedman and his wife Barbara Benioff Friedman conduct their philanthropy through the Friedman Family Foundation, which gave away around $5.5 million in a recent fiscal year. The couple's philanthropy has a largely New York focus. In health, the couple has given millions to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The couple's mutual alma mater Cornell is home to the Friedman Wrestling Center. Apart from health and education, the couple has a number of other interests including Jewish causes and human services.

BACKGROUND: Born in 1937 in Brooklyn, Stephen Friedman received a B.A. from Cornell University, and a law degree from Columbia Law School. He joined Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 1966 and became a partner in 1973. Through his years at Goldman Sachs, Freidman also served as chairman. Friedman joined private equity outfit Stone Point Capital in 1998, and currently serves as chairman. Friedman has also held other prominent positions, such as chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


EDUCATION: Both Friedman and Barbara are Cornell Class of 1959. The couple has strongly supported their mutual alma mater over the years, giving at least $7.1 million between 2004 and 2010. More recently, the Friedman Family Foundation's grantmaking has involved various Cornell outfits such as Cornell University Athletics, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is worth mentioning that Friedman was a wrestler at Cornell and was inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame; last decade, the couple made a lead gift towards the creation of Cornell University's Friedman Wrestling Center. Friedman and Barbara have supported other wrestling outfits such as Finger Lakes Wrestling Club, Friends of Long Island Wrestling, and National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

The couple's family foundation has recently supported outfits such as USC Shoah Foundation, Crossroads Academy, Georgetown Day School, Columbia University Law School, University of New Hampshire, Hobart and William Smith College, and Weill Cornell Medical College, which has received some $3 million in the two most recent tax years available. The Friedmans have strongly supported Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, as well, an outfit which Barbara once chaired. 

The couple has also supported the Center for Early Childhood Education and the National Academy Foundation, whose mission is to "solve some of the biggest challenges that face education and the economy by bringing education, business, and community leaders together to transform the high school experience." It is worth mentioning that Barbara was a teacher in the New York City public school system.

YOUTH: The couple's family foundation has recently supported buildOn an "international nonprofit organization that runs youth service afterschool programs in United States high schools, and builds schools in developing countries," Publicolor, which provides "design-based programs to at-risk youth and bringing vibrant color to institutional public spaces," Children’s Aid Society, and Overcoming Obstacles, whose mission is to "ensure that all young people learn the communication, decision making, and goal setting skills they need to be successful in life," among others.

HEALTH: The couple's foundation has made recent grants to include New York Presbyterian Hospital, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, New York Stem Cell Foundation, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Planned Parenthood of Mercer County, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, and The Bravewell Collaborative, a "community of leading philanthropists who work together to transform our health care system and improve the health of the American public through the advancement of integrative medicine." Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has been especially well-funded, and between 2004 and 2010 alone, at least $7 million went to MSKCC. 

HUMAN SERVICES: The Friedmans support human services outfits such as Food Bank of NYC, Settlement Housing Fund, Coalition for the Homeless, and Henry Street Settlement, a "social service agency in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City that provides social services, arts programs and health care services to New Yorkers of all ages." The Friedmans have also given to outfits that support members of the armed forces and veterans, such as SoldierStrong (formerly SoldierSocks.) 

ARTS & CULTURE:  Recent grantees include American Museum of Natural History, Playwrights Horizon, The Met, New York Historical Society, Metropolitan Opera, and Museum of American Finance.

ENVIRONMENT: The Friedmans have recently supported Central Park Conservancy and Environmental Advocates, both of New York. Out west, the couple has recently supported Grand Teton National Park Foundation, and Jackson Hole Land Trust.

JEWISH CAUSES & RELIGIOUS OUTFITS: Recent grantees include Central Synagogue, UJA Federation of New York, American Jewish Committee, and Auburn Theological Seminary.

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT: Friedman once served as chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board and Intelligence Oversight Board, and is currently on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations. It is no surprise then that the couple has also supported global outfits with their philanthropy. Recent grantees include Council on Foreign Relations, and Kalai Foundation, a scholarship fund that operates in Zimbabwe.

NYC COMMUNITY: Recent grantees include WNYC Radio, Thirteen/WNET, and Citizen’s Union Foundation. Citizen's Union describes itself as a "nonpartisan good government group dedicated to making democracy work for all New Yorkers."

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect Friedman and Barbara's New York focus to hold. The couple's kids do not yet appear to be on the books of the family foundation, but son David Benioff is a successful Hollywood screenwriter and producer, and the creator of HBO’s Game of Thrones.


The Friedman Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact, but here's an address:

Friedman Family Foundation

77 Water St., 9th Fl.

New York City, NY 10005

Telephone: (212) 440-0800