Bernard Rapoport, who built an insurance empire and spent his last decades giving his wealth away to universities, Democratic campaigns and charitable causes in Israel and his adopted hometown of Waco, died late Thursday night.
He was 94 and was in the hospital for illness related to previous heart failures, said Lyndon Olson Jr. of Waco, a close friend.
“It’s a huge loss, period,” said Olson, a former U.S. ambassador. “He was quite a human being. I’ve never met anybody more gracious and kind.”
Olson said that before Rapoport checked into Providence Health Center earlier this week, he had been in the habit of putting in a full day at the Rapoport Foundation, the charitable institution he founded. Just last week, he was cracking jokes and bending Olson’s ear about big ideas he had.
“He was Bernard Rapoport right to the end,” Olson said.