Lord Jacob Rothschild
Lord Rothschild, born Nathaniel Charles Jacob Rothschild, has died at the age of 87 on Feb. 26, 2024, his family announced. Photo: https://rothschildfoundation.org.uk/ https://rothschildfoundation.org.uk/

Berkshire-born philanthropist and member of the Rothschild banking family, Lord Jacob Rothschild, born Nathaniel Charles Jacob Rothschild, has died at the age of 87 on Feb. 26.

Lord Rothschild's family has an estimated fortune of £825 million according to the Sunday Times Rich List. They reportedly gave away a reported £66 million to Jewish causes, education and art.

His family announced his passing in a statement that read: "Our father Jacob was a towering presence in many people's lives, a superbly accomplished financier, a champion of the arts and culture, a devoted public servant, a passionate supporter of charitable causes in Israel and Jewish culture, a keen environmentalist and much-loved friend, father and grandfather."

Lord Rothschild was educated at Eton College and then at Christ Church College in Oxford where he studied history. He held several positions in his decades-spanning career. He was chairman of one of the largest investment trusts quoted on the London Stock Exchange, the RIT Capital Partners, until 2019.

He was also deputy chairman at the then BSkyB Television and director of RHJ International, now called BHF Kleinwort Benson Group. The 4th Baron Rothschild was also a member of the council for the Duchy of Cornwall for the then Prince of Wales and was chairman of trustees at the National Gallery from 1985 to 1991 and chairman of The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Lord Rothschild was also President of the Institute of Jewish Affairs, now called the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, in 1992. Being a renowned patron to the arts, he also sat for numerous portraits, including those by Lucian Freud and David Hockney.

Another of his achievements is the Windmill Hill Asset Management, which he founded to manage the Rothschild family's philanthropic portfolio. He also became chairman of The Rothschild Foundation charity.

In a post on X, The National Gallery shared their condolences on the baron's passing, writing: "We are saddened to hear of the death of Lord Rothschild. Jacob Rothschild was a businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist and cultural leader.

"He was the chair of our board of trustees from 1985-1991. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones."

Likewise, The Rothschild Foundation mourned his death in a statement posted on its website: "Jacob Rothschild was an extraordinary person and his loss will be felt by many. The family is committed to continuing his legacy and the foundation which he loved and endowed." The foundation confirmed that his daughter Hannah will succeed him as chair of the charity.

Lord Rothschild's family announced that "he will be buried in accordance with Jewish custom in a small family ceremony and there will be a memorial at a later date to celebrate his life". He is survived by his children, Hannah, Beth, Emily and Nat, and many grandchildren. His wife of 50 years, Serena, died in 2019.