Beit, Alfred (bĪt) [key], 1853–1906, South African financier, b. Hamburg. He went to South Africa in 1875, grew rich from the development of diamond mines, and was a colleague and lieutenant of Cecil Rhodes in Rhodesia. A philanthropist, he founded a chair for colonial history at the Univ. of Oxford and made many gifts for educational purposes in London, Hamburg, and South Africa.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.