In 1961, Dan David had a dream. He dreamed of using his studies and work experience in industrial photography to design a new instant photography technology. Money posed a problem. A businessman abroad who believed in his idea came to the rescue with a $200,000 loan with an unlimited pay-back date. This enabled Dan David to fulfil his dream and the loan was not only paid back, but his financial backer was presented with stocks in the new company that Dan created.
This defining experience for Dan David was the underlying motivation in establishing the Dan David Foundation and the Dan David Prize. His aim is to reward those who have made a lasting impact on society and help young students and entrepreneurs become the scholars and leaders of the future.
Dan David’s philosophy is expressed in the statement he made: “Money is a measure of success like Celsius degrees for temperature; it is not a purpose in itself. Success can be a source of satisfaction but money should be put to work for good causes after personal needs have been met. It is the reason why I chose to create the Prize, to devote some of my fortune to rewarding and furthering the work of the eminent figures who have increased our knowledge of our past, improved our present and helped us forge a better future”.
Dan David’s honors included ‘Commander of the Italian Republic in the Order of Merit’, ‘Commander of the French Republic in the Order of Arts and Letters’ and from the Israeli Government, ‘Itur Lochamei Hamedina’. Dan David held the title of Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa from Tel Aviv University. He was a member of the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University and was an Elected Member of the World Academy of Art and Science.
Dan David was married to Gabriela Fleischman David and was the father of Ariel David, a talented young journalist. He was President of Fomat Ltd., Dedem Automatica Srl, and Photo-Me International Plc, as well as a member of the boards of other Israeli and foreign companies, including the investment fund GLG London. He was engaged in a myriad of philanthropic projects in fields as varied as archaeology, film, medicine, various scholarships, and a non-profit business incubator. Dan David divided his time between Israel, England, and Italy and was fluent in French, Italian, English, Romanian, Spanish, Hebrew, and German. He had numerous hobbies, among which are literature, history, chess, cycling, and travelling.
Dan David passed away on Tuesday, September 6th 2011 leaving his many legacies of innovation, philanthropy and inspiration to future generations.
The Dan David Prize is proud to continue his dream of creating a better world.