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Natalie Ornish
Ben Taub
Illustration, Portrait of Ben Taub. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Texas Medical Center in 1980
Photograph, The Texas Medical Center in 1980. Image courtesy of the Houston Chronicle. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Grave of Ben Taub
Photograph, Grave of Ben Taub in Houston. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

TAUB, BEN (1889–1982). Ben Taub, philanthropist and medical benefactor, fourth child of Jacob Nathan Taub, was born in 1889 in Houston. His father immigrated from Hungary to Texas in 1882 and became a tobacco wholesaler. Taub grew up in Houston, where he attended Welch Preparatory School. During World War I he was a captain and served in France. He returned to Texas and expanded the family business, later becoming a real estate developer. At one time he served on the boards of directors of twenty-three institutions, including an investment firm, two banks, an insurance company, and four universities. In 1936 he donated thirty-five acres for establishing the University of Houston. In 1943 he was instrumental in encouraging Baylor College of Medicine to move to the Texas Medical Center in Houston. He helped guide the Harris County Hospital to the highest quality of research, teaching, and patient care through affiliation with Baylor College of Medicine, which in 1949 joined the city and county in providing care for indigent patients. Taub never married and spent his time visiting patients in the county hospital. For years he helped run the DePelchin Faith Home for homeless children (see DEPELCHIN, KEZIA P.). He worked with the Pauline Sterne Wolf Foundation. He was a director of the Texas Medical Center, headed the United Way, gave out scholarships, and sponsored visiting medical professors. He served as chairman of the Jefferson Davis Hospital from 1935 to 1964. When Houston's new charity hospital opened in 1963 the hospital board, in recognition of his service, named it Ben Taub General Hospital. It became one of the nation's major trauma centers. Ben Taub died at age ninety-two on September 9, 1982. In 1986 Baylor College of Medicine opened the ten-story Ben Taub Research Center.


Houston Chronicle, September 10, 1982. Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Natalie Ornish, "TAUB, BEN," accessed July 04, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fta43.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on January 26, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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