SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — Billionaire philanthropist and shopping mall pioneer A. Alfred Taubman “loved what his life had become” and had “absolutely no regrets,” his son told about 1,000 mourners at Taubman’s funeral Tuesday.
Taubman, 91, died on Friday of a heart attack at his home in Bloomfield Hills.
He began his first real estate business in 1950 and pioneered the development of enclosed shopping malls in Michigan, California and elsewhere in the 1950s and early 1960s. His fortune established, Taubman donated hundreds of millions of dollars to universities, hospitals and museums.
“He touched so many in so many ways and will continue to touch them and help them for years to come,” said Robert Taubman, CEO of Taubman Centers, the mall development company his father founded. “He was truly an amazing person who lived an extraordinary life. He was a great American story.”
“He loved what his life had become” and had “absolutely no regrets,” his son said at his father’s funeral at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, a synagogue in the Detroit suburb of Southfield. A private burial ceremony followed at Clover Hill Park cemetery in Birmingham.
Former University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman says she wonders if there will ever be anyone as generous as Taubman.
“No one should leave here today thinking that Alfred simply wrote big checks,” she said. “As a donor and adviser, he was totally engaged. He wanted us to be better and he was ready to commit the time to hold us accountable. He was simply a tough taskmaster.”