Barrick Gold founder Peter Munk dead at 90
Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter Munk, who founded Barrick Gold and built it into the world’s biggest gold-mining company, has died at the age of 90.
“Munk passed away peacefully in Toronto today, surrounded by his family,” Barrick said in a release.
Munk was born in Budapest in 1927 and moved to Toronto 20 years later.
He founded numerous business years after moving to Canada, including a furniture and electronics business, a hotel chain and several real estate ventures. Then in 1983 he founded Barrick, eventually turning it into the world’s biggest gold miner.
In his later years, his focus turned to philanthropy, donating $300 million to numerous causes, most notably in a $100 million gift to found the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at the Toronto General Hospital in 1997. It remainsthe largest single gift ever donated to a Canadian hospital.
Dr. Barry Rubin, medical director at the centre that bears Munk’s name, said the philanthropist was frequently stopped on the street by people who wanted to thank him for his role in saving their loved ones’ lives through the ground-breaking medical research he funded. “I will miss his wisdom, guidance, charm and wit, and the way in which he treated everyone he met with dignity and respect,” Rubin said.
He also funded the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto with $51 million over the years, something the school’s former director Steven Toope says was born of Munk’s belief that Canadians embodied values like openness and integrity, two things the world needed more of.
“The creation of the Munk School of Global Affairs was Peter’s effort to take those Canadian values, and to help train generations of leaders to promote them on the world stage,” Toope said.
Munk is survived by Melanie, his wife of forty-five years, by his five children, Anthony, Nina, Marc-David, Natalie, and Cheyne, and by his fourteen grandchildren.