Public Storage Billionaire Quietly Donated $360 Million to USC

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire founder of Public Storage, B. Wayne Hughes Sr., donated almost $400 million to the University of Southern California, most of which was given anonymously, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The son of a sharecropper, Hughes fled from dust storms in Oklahoma to Los Angeles, where he graduated from USC in 1957. The newspaper identified him as the anonymous donor who gave $360 million to his alma mater between 2010 and 2015, citing three sources it didn’t identify.

Hughes “has intentionally chosen to live his life in a way that he avoids the spotlight,” his attorney said, declining an interview request from the Times.

The 85-year-old has a net worth of $4.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He founded Public Storage in 1972 with a $50,000 investment after driving along a Texas road and noticing a self-storage warehouse loaded to capacity. Hughes retired as chief executive officer in 2002, and as chairman in 2011.

Public Storage didn’t respond to a voicemail left on Saturday after regular business hours. A spokesman for USC didn’t immediately comment on the report.

Hughes became friends with O.J. Simpson when he played for the USC Trojans, and was named guardian of the estate of Simpson’s two children in 1994, when the retired NFL running back and Hall of Fame member was charged with murder.

Hughes also has a particular affection for the USC athletic department, and the university’s athletic director, Lynn Swann, is a lifelong friend, the Times reported.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.