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Real estate, banking and the auction business have made Bernard Osher a very wealthy man, but most of his energies these days are spent giving that fortune away through two charitable foundations.
Osher, 71, is an intensely private San Francisco businessman, chairman of Butterfield & Butterfield Auctioneers, active commercial real estate investor and a director and large shareholder of Golden West Financial Corp., the Oakland-based thrift which operates as World Savings & Loan.
His net worth is not known, but his stake in Golden West, founded and run by his sister Marion Sandler, is worth almost $300 million, according to a 1998 annual report. He co-owns 650 …