Mindlin, José Ephim (1914–)

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Mindlin, José Ephim (1914–)

A reporter, attorney, and business owner, Mindlin was born in São Paulo on September 8, 1914, to Russian Jewish immigrant parents. He founded his company, Metal Leve, in 1950. It manufactured engine pistons and grew to be the largest of its kind in Brazil. In the 1990s, after facing a serious crisis caused by the Brazil's financial crisis, Mindlin sold his shares.

He subsequently has devoted most of his time to running the Biblioteca Brasiliana Guita e José Mindlin. A famous book lover, he has amassed more than thirty thousand titles since he was thirteen years old, of which approximately ten thousand are rare and two thousand are among the rarest. His collection on the history of Brazil is the largest ever assembled, even more comprehensive than that of the National Library in Rio de Janeiro.

Despite constant offers from foreign universities, Mindlin announced on May 17, 2006, that he had decided to donate his books to the University of São Paulo, which in December of that year started construction of a library to house them, expected to be completed by the end of 2009. For ninety-nine years after the death of its donor, the library will remain under the Mindlin Foundation's control, with full ownership turned over to the university thereafter.

Mindlin wrote very little, but his passion for books earned him membership in the Brazilian Academy of Letters in June 2006.

See alsoLibraries in Latin America .


Mindlin, José. Uma Vida entre livros São Paulo: EDUSP, 1997.

Mindlin, José. Destaques da biblioteca indisciplinada. São Paulo: EDUSP, 2006.

                               Carmen Lucia de Azevedo