Family of Former Cowboys Owner Makes Historic Donation to Children's Health

The $7.5 million gift is the largest ever for Children's Medical Center Plano

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The family of former Dallas Cowboys owner H.R. “Bum” Bright is continuing the legacy of giving he began decades ago.

Thursday, Children’s Health, a non-profit, announced a historic donation from Bright Industries, a company Bright founded in the 1950s.

Bright owned the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s. He sold the team to Jerry Jones in 1989 and his love for the city extended far beyond the field.

A longtime board member of Children’s Health, he donated $3 million to Children’s Health in 1999. The Bright Building near Children’s Medical Center Dallas is named after him and serves children with significant social needs.

More than two decades later, his son Chris, and the rest of the Bright family are donating $7.5 million to Children’s Medical Center Plano, the largest philanthropic gift to the campus in its history.

“He said it was your obligation if you were successful to give back,” Chris Bright said.

In October, Children’s Medical Center Plano broke ground on a massive expansion and renovation.

To meet growing needs in the area, a new 395,000-square-foot tower is being built along with a new emergency department that will bear the Bright family name.

The emergency department will provide increased space and state-of-the-art equipment and resources critical to the hospital’s Level II Trauma Center to serve the growing pediatric population in the region. It will also include dedicated behavioral health treatment rooms.

“It’s such a beautiful and incredible extension of that family legacy and the decades of involvement the Bright family has played in helping to make life better for children all across North Texas and beyond,” said Brent Christopher, president of Children's Health Foundation.

H.R. "Bum" Bright passed away in 2004.

Chris Bright, who now runs the family business, said the gift is a tribute to his late brother Clay, who died from cancer in August 2020.

“I kind of wanted to do this in somewhat honor of him,” Chris Bright said.

The expansion is expected to be finished in 2024.

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