About the Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust was established in 1999 after many decades of philanthropic giving by Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley. Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley supported many organizations throughout their lifetimes.
A primary pillar of their giving was the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley’s gifts there totaled over $71 million, enabling its medical and research teams to substantially augment activities in several areas of medicine, including cardiovascular disease, rehabilitation medicine, and digestive diseases. The last grant from the Trust before Mrs. Helmsley’s death, made in the summer of 2006, was a gift of $25 million to establish a comprehensive center for digestive diseases at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Center for Colon and Rectal Surgery offers diagnostic services along with medical and surgical treatment for patients suffering from gastrointestinal diseases, and facilitates collaborations among specialists in digestive diseases with the aim of developing effective new treatments.
During Mrs. Helmsley's lifetime, the Trust also made sizeable gifts to other organizations related to health, science, and human services. Major grant recipients include the Helen Keller National Center, the American Red Cross in Greater New York, the New York Police & Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund, and Greenwich Hospital.
In April 2009, the Trustees of the Trust announced the first round of grants since the death of Mrs. Helmsley. These grants mark a new chapter in the Trust's existence and are a continuation of the tremendous philanthropic legacy that Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley left behind.