Philanthropist Marilyn Glick dies after year-long illness

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Marilyn K. Glick, who with her husband Gene B. Glick donated millions of dollars in recent years to civic projects such as the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, died of cancer Friday at the age of 90.

The Glicks also funded the Glick Eye Institute at the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Indiana Authors Award, and a wide array of charitable projects benefiting the arts, education, public health, and aid organizations throughout central Indiana.

Shortly after their marriage in 1947, the Glicks founded what would become the Gene B. Glick Co., which was once one of Indiana’s most prolific developers of single-family homes. It began transitioning to the development and management of apartment communities in 1962 and now owns or manages about 19,000 apartment units in 10 states.

A native of Detroit, Marilyn Glick graduated from Shortridge High School in 1940 and began a career at Indianapolis Life Insurance Co., where she rose from a clerk in the policy loan department to the head of the reinsurance department and secretary to the vice president.

She met her husband at a bridge game in 1945. During their courtship, Gene and Marilyn took their respective nest eggs and began investing in real estate.

As the business they founded together grew, Marilyn transitioned to full-time parenting and community service. She held leadership positions with the Indiana State Symphony Society and its Young Audiences program, was president of the Borinstein Home Guild (now Hooverwood Guild) from 1966 to 1968 and founded People of Vision in 1981 to support Prevent Blindness Indiana.

This dedication to eye health culminated in the Glicks’ largest philanthropic grant to date, a $30 million gift to the Indiana University School of Medicine for the construction of its new Glick Eye Institute in Indianapolis. They donated $15 million to the cultural trail, the bike and pedestrian trail named for them that runs through downtown.

“The entire Indiana University community is experiencing a great loss today with the passing of Mrs. Glick,” said IU President Michael A. McRobbie in a prepared statement. “She led her life by example, finding solutions to problems and challenges that would clearly make the world a better place, and a place that could be seen and enjoyed by all. Our sympathies are extended to her life’s partner, her husband, Gene, and her family.”

Much of the fortune the Glicks earned through their business has been used to fund civic projects and charitable organizations throughout central Indiana. In 1982, the couple established the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Family Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the state. The pair also established The Glick Fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation and The Glick Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis.

“Most of us see the Glick name attached to buildings around town, but what fewer people see is the way Gene and Marilyn’s vision is carried on by the next generation,” said Brian Payne, president of CICF, in a written statement. “In my experience, it’s rare to find a family with such a unified and generous approach to making our community a better place. What Marilyn has taught her children and grandchildren may be her most important legacy to Indianapolis.”

Gene and Marilyn Glick celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary Jan. 7. In addition to her husband, Glick is survived by four daughters, numerous grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Their daughter, Marianne Glick, is director of the family foundation.

A memorial service will take place Monday, March 26, at 10 a.m. at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, 6501 N. Meridian Street. Memorial donations may be made to the Glick Eye Institute at Indiana University School of Medicine.



  • Saying goodbye
    Goodbye to a woman who was such a force yet implied such warmth and generosity in her gestures to others. It was my pleasure to work with you...
  • so much good
    I see the Glick name everywhere -- the breadth of their interests and commitment is astounding. What a wonderful legacy, but also a challenge to everyone at any level of means -- to do what one is able to affect for the better the lives of those around you.
  • Thank You
    The Glicks have given back alot to Indianapolis. They deserve all the credit in the world. Marilyn will be missed.
  • Thank You
    Thank you to Marilyn and her husband Gene for their philanthropy. I have never met either one of them, but they have to be good hearted people to release so many millions of dollars to serve the Indianapolis and beyond community. A truly wonderful legacy.
  • Thanks for the legacy
    What a legacy this giving, intelligent and forward thinking icon leaves the great city of Indianapolis. You will be missed but your memory lives on.

    Prayers and sympathy to the family.

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