Family Dollar founder and NC philanthropist Leon Levine dies

Household Greenback founder and NC philanthropist Leon Levine dies

CHARLOTTE — Household Greenback founder and North Carolina philanthropist Leon Levine died Wednesday, his founding confirmed to Channel 9. He was 85 years outdated.

Levine, who has shared his fortune with well being care, training and neighborhood causes in Charlotte, has additionally funded North Carolina’s largest scholarship packages.

Levine’s title marks establishments all through the area, and his legacy is an unwavering generosity all through the Carolinas. The philanthropist has spent his life giving again to his neighborhood.

Levine was born in Wadesboro in 1937 and graduated from Rockingham Excessive College in 1955. In 1959, at age 22, he opened the primary Household Greenback Retailer alongside Central Avenue in Charlotte with an funding of $6,000.

Levine bought the thought after visiting a sequence retailer in Tennessee that offered objects for underneath $1. He determined his retailer would promote all the things from cleansing provides to garments for underneath $2. Reductions ultimately turned a Fortune 400 firm that was a buying and selling heart for Individuals with restricted disposable incomes.

That first Central Avenue retailer nonetheless exists right this moment.

(PHOTOS: The life and legacy of NC Leon Levine)

In 1980, Levine and his spouse Sandra based the Leon Levine Basis, which right this moment is likely one of the largest foundations within the Southeast. It helps packages and organizations that put money into training, well being care, human companies, and the Jewish religion.

Leon Levine Basis Endowment Scholarships have been created at a variety of universities, together with UNC Charlotte. The Levine title is embossed on buildings throughout the Carolinas, from the Levine Most cancers Institute and Levine Youngsters’s Hospital to the Sandra and Leon Levine Jewish Neighborhood Middle, the Levine Museum of the New South, and the Levine Middle for the Arts.

The muse says it has awarded greater than $300 million in grants by 2020.

Levine’s fortune grew from a small store on the east aspect of city, however his footprint far exceeds any greenback quantity.

Improved the lives of numerous Charlotte residents

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles mentioned Levine had a profound influence on Charlotte.

I’m grateful to have identified Leon over time, and my ideas and prayers exit to his spouse Sandra and household. As a pacesetter in philanthropy and enterprise, Leon can be enormously missed, he mentioned in a press release on Twitter.

Channel 9’s Evan Donovan spoke to Mark Value, a longtime reporter for McClatchy. Whereas on the Charlotte Observer, he spent years masking for Leon Levine.

When he created his Leon Levine Basis, he started actively on the lookout for methods to assist. And the top end result has touched the medical neighborhood, the spiritual neighborhood and numerous charities, Value mentioned. He fed folks, he protected folks.

The clerk of UNC Charlotte, the place there’s a scholarship named after Levine and a dormitory, launched the next assertion after his dying:

Leon Levine and his spouse, Sandra, have been avid supporters of UNC Charlotte, Sharon Gaber mentioned. By way of their generosity, lots of of Levine Students have had the chance to pursue excellence within the classroom whereas additionally giving again to the neighborhood round them. UNC Charlotte sends its deepest condolences to Sandra Levine and your entire Levine household as we mourn the passing of a person who helped rework training at our College and improved the lives of numerous Charlotteans.

In keeping with Atrium Well being, Levine had a deep relationship with the well being care system and had a huge effect on its care supply packages, together with two services named after him: Atrium Well being Levine Childrens Hospital and Atrium Well being Levine Most cancers Institute.

He was the Atrium Well being Basis’s largest particular person donor, the well being system mentioned.

Leon’s passing is a profound loss to the Atrium Well being household and past, mentioned Eugene A. Woods, CEO of Advocate Well being, of which Atrium Well being is part. He has devoted his life to serving to others and, by means of his vital investments, has formed the way in which we ship care at Atrium Well being, particularly in pediatric and oncology care. For many years, his philosophy was not nearly reworking care, however about enhancing each nook of our neighborhood. His extraordinary generosity is felt throughout Carolina right this moment, and because of him there is a toddler taking his first steps, a father strolling his daughter down the aisle, and a neighbor who’s the primary within the household to graduate from school. . His legacy will stay on for generations to return by means of the lives he touched.

Leon embodied all that stood for good on this planet. Irrespective of the place you reside in our neighborhood, you are most likely not removed from a charitable group influenced by the beneficiant help of Leon and Sandras or one thing bearing Levine’s title, mentioned Armando Chardiet, president of the Atrium Well being Basis. Leon’s biggest reward is his legacy. The packages and services he has championed have really modified the course of care at Atrium Well being. Our teammates and sufferers will perpetually really feel his imprint of their lives.

At Ronald McDonald’s dwelling in Charlotte, the households that after lived there have been giving Wednesday again in the identical room named after considered one of its largest donors: Leon Levine.

There are a lot of shared reminiscences right here. There are a lot of tears shared right here, mentioned Denise Cubbedge, CEO of Better Charlotte’s Ronald McDonald Home.

I really feel like Leon Levine has cultivated a tradition of — we’re not only a monetary associate, however we would like the organizations we help to be stronger, he added.

Mark Value mentioned it was clear the {couples}’ hearts have been on the backside.

They watched TV stations and browse the newspaper, and when somebody reported an issue, Leon, his spouse and employees would huddle collectively and determine a method to assist, Value mentioned.

While you obtained cash from the Leon Levine Basis, it was a stamp of approval that nonprofit leaders wished, she mentioned.

Former Financial institution of America CEO Hugh McColl, maybe an important dwelling Charlotten and Levine’s pal for 60 years, instructed the Charlotte Observer: He’ll really be remembered as one of the crucial beneficiant individuals who ever lived right here.

Native organizations and leaders additionally shared statements about Levine’s dying:

Queens College commemorated Leon Levine, who alongside together with his spouse, Sandra, funded the development of a theater and athletic heart on campus. Additionally they supported entry to varsity for dozens of scholars with a scholarship in Sandra’s title.

Mr. Levine leaves a profound and lasting legacy that may perpetually contact the hearts and minds of all at Queens College, mentioned Dan Lugo, president of the college. We lengthen our deepest condolences to your entire Levine household and our associates on the Leon Levine Basis and hope they know that their Queens household joins them in mourning and celebrating Mr. Levine’s unbelievable legacy.

This can be a creating story. Examine again for updates.

(SEE BELOW: UNC Charlotte Hosts Dance Marathon, Raises Funds for Levine Youngsters’s Hospital)

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