Herbert Sandler (November 16, 1931 - June 5, 2019) was a co-CEO (with his wife, Marion Sandler) of Golden West Financial Corporation and World Savings Bank. He died on June 4, 2019, at the age of 87.
In 1963, the Sandlers created Golden West Financial Corporation, a savings and loan holding company, to acquire Golden West Savings and Loan Association, the predecessor to World Savings Bank. Since that time, Golden West grew into one of the largest thrifts in the U.S. with assets of approximately $125 billion, deposits of $60 billion, and 12,000 employees. Under the Sandlers' management, Golden West generated a 19 percent average annual compound growth in earnings per share over a 39-year period. The company was described as "one of the most efficient and productive money machines on the planet", and was included 10 times in Fortune magazine's annual list of the United States' most admired companies. The Sandlers were also named "2004 CEOs of the Year" by Morningstar, Inc.
Golden West was sold in 2006 for $24 billion to Wachovia Bank and the acquisition was completed in October 2006. The Sandlers owned about 10% of the company at the time of the sale, making their share of the sale price worth about $2.4 billion. Of this the Sandlers gave $1.3 billion to the Sandler Foundation.
The Sandlers helped found and are among the largest benefactors of the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization fighting predatory mortgage lending, payday loans, and other products that prey on consumers; the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank; ProPublica, an investigative reporting newsroom; and the American Asthma Foundation. In addition, the Sandlers or their foundation support organizations involved in medical research, the environment, human rights, and civil liberties.