A public memorial service will be held Friday for Bram Goldsmith, chairman emeritus of City National Bank and the founding chairman of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.
Goldsmith died Sunday at age 93 in Los Angeles, according to City National Corp., for which he served as chairman/CEO from 1975 to 1995.
“My father was a remarkable man, truly one of a kind,” said his son, Russell Goldsmith, who is now the corporation’s chairman and CEO. “He accomplished an enormous amount during his long and rewarding life. Among other things, he established the high standards, reputation, values and value proposition that continue to define City National today. We are all very proud of him, and he in turn was deeply proud of this company, what it does for its clients and the thousands of colleagues who made it what it is today.”
A Chicago native and World War II Army veteran, Goldsmith moved to the Los Angeles area in 1952. The next year, he became one of the first shareholders of the newly created City National, which was created by a group of businessmen that included his father-in-law, Ben Maltz.
A respected real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist, Goldsmith served as president of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles in 1969-70. The federation’s Los Angeles headquarters is now known as the Goldsmith Center.
He chaired the 1965 Los Angeles United Jewish Fund Campaign and was national chairman of United Jewish Appeal from 1970-74. He also served on the boards of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, along with the board of the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
During his time leading City National, he is credited with overseeing the growth of the company’s assets by more than 500 percent, reaching $3.2 billion.
He also headed the Wallis Annenberg Cultural Center Foundation, leading the effort to build the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, where one of the theaters bears his name.
Goldsmith is survived by his wife Elaine, sons Russell and Bruce and five grandchildren.
A public memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at the Bram Goldsmith Theater at the Annenberg Center.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center or the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
— Wire reports