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Paul J. DiMare Dreamed of ‘Curing the Incurable’

The longtime UM trustee and benefactor passed away from ALS
Paul and Swanee DiMare made a profound impact on the Miller School through their philanthropy.

Paul and Swanee DiMare made a profound impact on the Miller School through their philanthropy.


aul J. DiMare, chief executive officer and president of DiMare Fresh and a longtime University of Miami trustee and benefactor, passed away on Dec. 30 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 81.

“During his 18 years on the Board of Trustees, Paul DiMare modeled for us what it means to be generous, selflessly sharing his time, talent, treasure, and most importantly his servant’s heart and passion for the U,” said Laurie Silvers, chair of the Board of Trustees.

From athletics and the arts to business, scientific research, and medical education, his generosity has made an impact across the institution. In 2014, he and his wife, Swanee, made a transformational $6 million gift for medical student scholarships at the Miller School — the largest such gift in the School’s history. He was inducted into the University’s Iron Arrow Honor Society in 2017.

Diagnosed with ALS in 2021, DiMare dreamed of assembling the greatest minds in the world to find a cure for ALS and other disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries. The initiative DiMare envisioned would be operated through The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. The DiMare Memorial Fund at The Miami Project, has already been established and will provide support to fight neurodegenerative disorders.

“It was my dad’s passion. He wanted to form a special initiative — a Manhattan Project to cure the incurable is how he often described it,” said Gino DiMare, head coach of the Miami Hurricanes baseball team.

“It kept him going,” Swanee DiMare said. “He read and learned everything he could about ALS and the medical research that was being done to find the cause and a cure. And he did so right up until his death.”

The DiMare family recently funded an endowed chair at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Miller School. The DiMare Family Endowed Chair in Immunotherapy, which is held by world-renowned researcher Jashodeep Datta, M.D., promises to usher in a new era in breakthrough cancer research.

Swanee DiMare, Gino DiMare, and other family members intend to continue the important work of DiMare to establish an initiative dedicated to curing neurological diseases. “We’re going to make sure we’re vocal, that our voices are heard and that we’re doing the things that dad would have wanted us to do,” Gino DiMare said. “We’re going to do our best to keep his dream alive.”