50 Fascinating People, Places & Things
To mark Bethesda Magazine's 50th issue, our editors chose these people, places and things (in no particular order).
Visitors gazing up at the Washington Monument may not know it, but they partly have billionaire philanthropist and Bethesda resident David Rubenstein to thank for the view.
Early in 2012, the 62-year-old co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a hugely successful global asset management firm, donated $7.5 million to help fix cracks in the iconic structure that were caused by an earthquake in August 2011. That gift was just the latest of Rubenstein’s donations dedicated to national and historic treasures.
In 2007, he paid $21.3 million for a copy of the Magna Carta that is now on permanent loan to the National Archives. In 2008 and 2009, respectively, he bought copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Declaration of Independence, both of which are now displayed in federal buildings. And in 2011, he donated $13.5 million for a new gallery at the National Archives and $4.5 million for the National Zoo’s giant panda reproduction program. But that’s not all.
Rubenstein is reported to be the single largest donor in the history of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And he’s apparently not done. Rubenstein, whose bank accounts swelled again when his company went public in May, recently told The Washington Post that he’s committed to giving away lots of his wealth. (Julie Rasicot)