BERKLEY, WILLIAM R. (1945– ), U.S. insurance holding company executive. Berkley received a B.S. from New York University (NYU) (1966) and an M.B.A. from Harvard (1968). During his business career, he founded a number of public and private companies which he continues to control or of which he serves as chairman or director. He also chairs or serves on the board of several banks and other financial institutions. The W.R. Berkley Corp. was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. In 2005 it had 32 subsidiaries operating in the U.S. and globally and was ranked 431 by Fortune 500. Berkley serves as chair of the Board of Overseers of the NYU Stern School of Business; as vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of NYU, where he serves on the Executive and Finance Committees; on the Board of Directors of Georgetown University; as vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Connecticut; and as co-chairman of the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute, Inc. Berkley has received many awards for his business, civic, and philanthropic activities, including, most recently, an honorary doctor of law degree from Mercy College. In 1999, he was awarded the Medallion for Entrepreneurship by Beta Gamma Sigma, which honors outstanding individuals who combine innovative business achievements with service to humanity.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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