Marcel Adams, was a Canadian real estate investor and billionaire, known for his work with Iberville Developments. He was also a Holocaust survivor, having endured the atrocities of the Nazi regime.
Born to a Jewish family in Romania in 1920, Marcel Abramovich (later known as Adams) was the son of a tanner. During World War II, he was compelled to work in Nazi labor camps from 1941 to 1944. He managed to escape and fled to Turkey before eventually finding refuge in Mandatory Palestine, where he fought for Israel’s independence. In 1951, he immigrated to Canada and worked at a tannery in Quebec City.
Adams and his family survived the Holocaust by hiding in a cellar for three years. After the war, Adams moved to Canada, where he started his career in real estate.
In 1953, Marcel Adams tied the knot with Annie Adams, with whom he had four children: Julian, Sylvan, Linda, and Leora. Julian, his son, is a biochemist who spearheaded the team that invented Velcade, while Sylvan oversees Iberville. Linda, his daughter, is a lawyer who is married to commentator Gil Troy, and Leora works as a nurse.
It was in 1955 when he ventured into real estate investing, with his first building yielding a profit of 70%. In 1958, he established Iberville Developments and opened his first mall a year later. Although Adams had retired, his son Sylvan Adams ran the company for almost 25 years before passing the reins to his own son, Josh. As of 2017, Iberville owns and manages a vast portfolio of over 100 properties with a combined area of eight million square feet.
Unfortunately, Annie passed away in November 1997. Marcel Adams himself passed away on August 11, 2020.
In Canada, Adams began his career in real estate in the 1950s. He started by buying small properties in Quebec and then developed them into larger commercial buildings. Over the years, Adams’ real estate business grew, and he became one of the most successful real estate developers in Canada.
Adams is best known for founding Iberville Developments in 1975, a real estate development company that has built many commercial and residential properties throughout Canada and the United States. Under Adams’ leadership, Iberville Developments has become one of the most respected real estate development companies in North America.
Initially, he worked in the leather industry. However, he shifted his focus towards investing in the local real estate market in the mid-1950s. His son, Sylvan Adams, is a Giving Pledge signatory who presently resides in Israel. Sylvan has been the CEO of the family business for several years.
Adams was also known for his philanthropic work. He and his wife, Vera, donated millions of dollars to various causes, including hospitals, universities, and museums. Adams was particularly interested in supporting Jewish causes, and he donated millions of dollars to the Montreal Jewish General Hospital and the Jewish General Hospital Foundation.
Adams and his family were known for their philanthropic efforts, particularly in the fields of education and health care. In 1996, he donated $5 million to the Montreal General Hospital to establish the Marcel and Annie Adams Clinical Research Centre. The center focuses on research in the fields of cancer, heart disease, and other major illnesses.
In 2007, he made a $100 million donation to McGill University, the largest private donation ever made to a Canadian university at the time. The donation helped establish the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management, which aims to train the next generation of business leaders in responsible, sustainable practices.
The Adams family also donated $10 million to Concordia University in Montreal to establish the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music. Additionally, they donated $5 million to the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal to create the Marcel A. Desautels Radiation Oncology Centre.
Adams was also a supporter of the arts. He donated $2.5 million to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to establish the Marcel and Jeanne Adams Gallery of Eastern Art. He also donated $1 million to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra to establish the Marcel and Jeanne Adams Endowment Fund.
Overall, Adams’ philanthropic efforts were vast and varied, and he and his family have made a significant impact on many areas of Canadian society.
Marcel Adams’ net worth at the time of his death in 2020 was estimated to be around $1.7 billion. The majority of his wealth was derived from his real estate development company, Iberville Developments.
Adams was recognized for his many achievements during his lifetime. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Concordia University in Montreal in 2008, and he received the Order of Canada in 2009 for his philanthropic work.
Adams’ philanthropic work was also recognized by many organizations. In 1995, he received the Gold Medal from the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal, and in 2000, he received the Humanitarian Award from the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. Adams was also awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Here are some of Marcel Adams’ notable achievements: