For many decades, the Benbough family helped shape the City of San Diego. Legler Benbough's father, Percy Benbough, founded the Benbough Mortuary and was mayor of San Diego from 1935 until his death in 1942.
Legler Benbough, as a businessman, civic leader, philanthropist and rancher was an important contributor to the civic and cultural life of the City throughout his lifetime. He expanded the mortuary business after his father's death to become owner of the largest group of mortuaries in the United States.
With no direct heirs, Mr. Benbough made a decision in 1985 to establish a charitable Foundation that would promote his interest in helping improve the quality of life for San Diegans.
The Foundation was initially funded with proceeds of business operations. In 1987, the Benbough ranch in Rancho Santa Fe was transferred to the Foundation and sold. In 1999, the principal funding of the Foundation occurred on the settlement of Mr. Benbough's estate.
As of December 31, 2009, the grants from the Foundation to date totalled Twenty Three Million Three Hundred Thirteen Thousand Six Hundred and Eighty Dollars ($23,313,680) and the assets on hand net of liabilities were Thirty Five Million Fifty Eight Thousand Nine Hundred Thirty Eight Dollars ($35,058,938). The grants budget for 2010 is Two Million Seven Hundred Dollars ($2,700,000).