About Denny Sanford

Revolutionary Man. Extraordinary Giving.

One person can make a difference. The kind of difference that improves lives not only here at home, but around the world.

As the country's preeminent health care philanthropist, Denny Sanford has given close to $1 billion to Sanford Health in less than two decades. His generosity has spanned across almost every area of care including children's health, research, breast health and genetics.

Denny had humble beginnings, growing up with his family in a working class neighborhood of St. Paul. However, tragedy struck early in Denny's life with the death of his mother, Edith, from breast cancer. This moment would stay with Denny throughout his life and became a major catalyst for his philanthropy. He wanted to make sure no other child would grow up without the love of a mother.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Denny's business side began to shine through. He started his own company, which quickly became hugely successful and allowed Denny to retire at the age of 45. However, a few years later he was back in the game with the purchase of a struggling bank in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Again, Denny's business acumen paid off. Within months, the new First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard had millions of cardholders and grew from 80 employees to 3,000. Now a major staple in the Sioux Falls community, Denny began to form a relationship with the hospital that would one day take his name. This connection would spark an unprecedented string of gifts, putting Sanford Health on a course of discovery, growth and innovation.

Thanks to a generous gift from Denny in 2011, the Edith Sanford Breast Center opened with a goal of accelerating research, improving breast cancer treatment and eradicating breast cancer for future generations.