Marion O. Sandler

Marion Sandler, a pioneering businesswoman and philanthropist, passed away on June 1, 2012. Obituary and Photos

Marion was one of the first women CEOs of a Fortune 500 company and the longest serving. She and Herb Sandler operated Golden West Financial Corporation from 1963 to 2006. Golden West was a successful, risk-averse residential mortgage portfolio lender that focused on making high quality loans and had the lowest loan losses in the industry over a 40+ year period. The Sandlers, who are committed to giving away their wealth philanthropically, have contributed more than $1.3 billion to the Sandler Foundation.

An oral history of Herb and Marion’s life is available at UC Berkeley’s Oral History Center.

Marion Sandler was born on October 17, 1930 and grew up in Biddeford, Maine. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College, Marion attended the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration, a one-year program offered by Radcliffe. She earned her MBA from New York University where she was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma, the business school honorary society and was the first woman to win the Marcus Nadler Thesis Award.

Marion Sandler was the first woman executive hired at Dominick & Dominick, Inc., a 90 year old brokerage and investment-banking firm known as the “Tiffany of Wall Street.” She was one of two women in professional jobs working on Wall Street. After five and a half years as a security analyst at Dominick & Dominick, she moved to Oppenheimer and Company where she was a senior analyst following the savings and loan industry, an advisor to institutional investors, and consulted by major business publications. She married Herb Sandler in 1961 and they moved to California in 1963 in their early 30s, with Marion convinced they could run their own savings and loan more effectively than others.

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