Remembering Robert F.X. Sillerman '69

December 02, 2019

Robert Sillerman, '69

Brandeis alumnus, media executive and university benefactor, Robert F.X. Sillerman ’69, died of a respiratory illness on Nov. 24 at the age of 71. 

With his wife Laura, Mr. Sillerman founded the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at the Heller School in 2008. The Sillermans founded the Center to encourage generosity among Americans, to advance best-philanthropic practice related to social justice, and to provide givers of all kinds research-based guidance to inform their grantmaking.

Most people beyond Brandeis University and the Heller School knew Sillerman as a highly successful media entrepreneur who built several media empires and reshaped the contemporary concert industry. On Brandeis campus and at the Sillerman Center, Mr. Sillerman was known mostly as an unflaggingly generous and loyal alum.

It was as an undergraduate at Brandeis that Sillerman launched one of his first businesses, Youth Market Consultants, in 1966. The business offered fellow students discount magazine subscriptions and advised marketers how to reach youth and young adults. A famously gregarious and irreverent nonconformist, Sillerman was known, too, for his outsized generosity with friends and family and devotion to his wife Laura, who oversaw the family's extensive philanthropy around the world. Over decades, the Sillermans have supported a wide variety of educational, cultural, health-related and ecological causes.

Sillerman is survived by his wife Laura and his brother, Michael.