Larry Marks

A native of Chicago, Charles L. "Larry" Marks studied biochemistry as an undergraduate and began his career working for Abbott Laboratories, an Illinois-based healthcare and medical device company. After earning his MBA from the University of Chicago, he was hired by Hewlett Packard, which at that time (the late 1960s) was one of very few tech firms headquartered in northern California, in an area that would become known worldwide as Silicon Valley.

The growing number of tech companies flocking to the Bay Area presented a golden opportunity and Mr. Marks left his job as a chemist and went into real estate, becoming a commercial property mortgage broker acquiring properties in what later became some of the most expensive zip codes in the United States.

A prominent supporter of local Jewish causes, Mr. Marks has held leadership positions at the Jewish Home and Senior Living Foundation of San Francisco and the Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life in Palo Alto, where he has been instrumental in establishing and maintaining Moldaw Residences, a senior living community.

The Weizmann Institute has been a major focus of Mr. Marks’ philanthropy for the past decade. Together with his wife, Dr. Gladys Monroy, who is also receiving a PhD honoris causa this year, he serves on the National Board of Directors of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, as well as on its Executive Committee, and is a life member of the Institute’s International Board. Mr. Marks also served as co-chair of the American Committee's Vera and Chaim Weizmann Honor Society.

In 2010, Mr. Marks was diagnosed with multiple myeloma; it was an experimental combination of therapeutics that put his disease into remission. Of this experience, he states: “There was nothing that happened to me that was more definitive in my thinking about how important scientific research is than the life-saving treatment I received.” With his wife at his side, Mr. Marks’ commitment to the Weizmann Institute’s mission grew deeper. Their most recent gift – a magnanimous, multi-year commitment that established the Monroy-Marks Integrative Center for Brain Disorder Research, a pillar of the Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences – supports translational disease-related research and expands on their already generous support of cutting-edge neuroscience at Weizmann. They also endowed the Monroy-Marks Career Development Chair, whose newest incumbent is neuroscientist Dr. Yarden Cohen, and – hearkening back to Larry’s days as a chemist – a Research Fellow Chair that supports the work of staff scientist Dr. Tali Scherf in the Chemical Research Support Department.

After attending the Institute’s 2012 Global Gathering in Montreal, Mr. Marks said he became “hooked on the wonderful community that is the Weizmann global family.” At the 2014 Global Gathering in New York, he and his wife were inducted into the exclusive President’s Circle.