Dr. Phillip Frost is celebrated as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in South Florida, but there’s a lot more to him than that.
As our cover story shows, Frost is not only a philanthropist, he’s a role model leading by example on how giving is done the right way. Yes, he can write the big checks, but he and his wife Patricia do deep dives in how the money can be best spent. In interacting with local universities, they actually meet the scholars and help shape programs.
Frost represents a classic American success story. He was born the son of a humble merchant in Philadelphia, which helped him understand what it means to be in business. That’s how he was able to see an opportunity for a product he invented while he was a dermatologist.
Then there’s his artistic side. His interest in art is widely known, but I didn’t know until I interviewed him that he was a French literature major who studied in France. His love of art didn’t come about because he became a wealthy patron. He learned about art visiting the Louvre in Paris while he studied in college. He’s given one of his collections to the Smithsonian, and the couple’s contributions to Florida International University resulted in their name being emblazoned on the university’s art museum. The couple’s largesse also extends to FIU’s music program.
The Frosts are also helping STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education by giving $100 million to the University of Miami and $45 million to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in downtown Miami.
Frost hasn’t retired from entrepreneurship, either. He deserves recognition as South Florida’s version of Warren Buffett with a diverse collection of businesses. It wouldn’t be surprising to see some life-changing treatments emerge from his biotech companies.