Les Wexner

by Jack Long

This audio project was produced in Jack Long’s role as Special Project Director.

Leslie Wexner is Ohio State’s most prolific donor.

From a $5 donation in 1962 to his $100 million gift to the medical center in 2011, Wexner has given more than $200 million to the university. And the Wexner family name adorns buildings and programs across Ohio State’s campus. 

It all started in 1963, when Wexner opened a single store in Upper Arlington, Ohio, called The Limited, selling women’s skirts and shirts. His stores would be built across the country and The Limited would turn into L Brands, the mother company to Victoria’s Secret, PINK and Bath & Body Works.

For decades, Wexner has been a mainstay in the development and growth of Columbus and Ohio State. He is considered a titan of the city and worked closely with former industry titans Jack Kessler, a residential real estate developer, and John Wolfe, former publisher of the Columbus Dispatch who died in 2016.

But in the past two years, Wexner has had to distance himself from convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, patch a sinking Victoria’s Secret and step down as CEO of L Brands — a position he held for 57 years.

Now in his early 80s, what’s left for Wexner?

Credit: Tribune News Service