Sir Donald Gordon dies at the age of 89, leaves behind a legacy


Liberty founder, entrepreneur and philanthropist Donald Gordon passed away on 21 November 2019.

Liberty Holdings has announced the death of its founder, Sir Donald Gordon, at the age of 89.

In a statement, the company’s board said that they are saddened by Gordon’s passing on Thursday, 21 November. “We extend our condolences to his family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time,” the statement read. 

Born in Johannesburg in 1930, Gordon matriculated at King Edward VII in 1947. He became a qualified accountant after studying at Wits University and working at the firm that is now known as Grant Thornton

Gordon founded Liberty in 1957 on “principles born of a deep belief in humanity and the desire to help people to leave a legacy for their families”. Liberty was the first South African company to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1967.

The Gordon Institute of Business Science was named after him in recognition of his contribution to South African business. Gordon has made donations to both the University of Pretoria and Wits University. His Wits donation was used to acquire the Kenridge Hospital in Parktown and the Wits University Donald Gordon Medical Centre was subsequently established in 2002. 

In 2005, Gordon was knighted for his contributions to the arts and business. He had contributed £20 million to the Royal Opera House and it was renamed to Donald Gordon Opera Theatre in Cardiff

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