Joan Irvine Smith, the daughter of James “Jase” Irvine Jr. and one of Orange County’s top philanthropists, has died at the age of 86.
"Joan was a longtime friend and I always admired her passion for the land and the environment. She was a very important participant in the history of the all-new City of Irvine and Orange County. She will be missed," Donald Bren, chairman and principal shareholder of Irvine Co. said in a statement.
A one-time minority shareholder at the Irvine Co., Smith convinced the real estate owner to sell 1,000 acres to the University of California Irvine for $1 to launch the school.
She also donated the Irvine Museum’s art collection to the university and co-founded CHOC Children’s Hospital.
The university will host a celebration of her life this spring on campus.