Taub, Ben (1889–1982)

By: Natalie Ornish

Type: Biography

Published: February 1, 1996

Updated: February 22, 2022

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).

  • Peoples
  • Jews
  • Business
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Civic Leaders
  • Patrons, Collectors, and Philanthropists
Time Periods:
  • Progressive Era
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Great Depression
  • World War II
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Natalie Ornish, “Taub, Ben,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/taub-ben.

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February 1, 1996
February 22, 2022

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