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Well-Known Iowa Philanthropist Dies

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A well-known Iowa philanthropist passed away Friday.

Richard Jacobson died at his home in Florida. He was 79.

His name is attached to several buildings across the state. Jacobson gave hundreds of millions of dollars to countless causes, including the University of Iowa, Iowa State, UNI and the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

In 2008, Jacobson donated $5 million to the Iowa State Athletics Department to help fund renovations at Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State called Jacobson a "fixture" at numerous Cyclone sporting events for over 40 years. Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard released this statement:

“The Iowa State Athletics family was saddened to hear the news today about Dick Jacobson’s passing. Dick was truly a special man and a proud Iowan. While he may have supported Cyclone Athletics through his many generous donations, he was an even better friend to all of us in the athletics department.  He will be missed, but never forgotten here in Ames.”

Gov. Terry Branstad also issued a statement about Jacobson’s death, which reads in part:

“Dick was an Iowa business icon and someone who relished in his philanthropic efforts around the country. Dick was a native of Belmond, Iowa and was very generous to his hometown as well as educational institutions and our state universities ... For his philanthropic and service efforts, Dick received the Iowa Award in 2012.  He will be greatly missed.”

Jacobson is best known for a $100 million gift to the Mayo Clinic in 2011. It was the largest gift Mayo had ever received from a single donor.