Izzet Baysal was born in Bolu in 1907. He completed primary and secondary schools in Bolu and studied in İstanbul for his higher degree in Istanbul Fine Arts Academy and graduated as an Architect.
Baysal started his career as a civil servant, and then became an industrialist by founding the Temper Casting Factory in 1949. He played a leading role for the development of casting industry in Turkey. For many years, he was in the top-ten list for paying income tax in Istanbul.He founded the “Izzet Baysal Foundation” in 1987, which he considered as his greatest achievement, by earmarking from his tax-deduced wealth.
Up to the calendar year of 2010, Izzet Baysal Foundation materialised 127 charity projects (of which the 127th is in the process of making). The investment for these projects is 262.416.844 TL according to the present value of 2010.
The charities of Izzet Baysal range from village clinics to fully-equipped hospitals, from mosques to rest homes, from kindergartens to universities.
A child attending the kindergarten established by the Foundation can get education in the Izzet Baysal Foundation’s primary and secondary schools, university, even up to the level of PhD, and can stay in their rest homes when he/she is old. With his charitable character, Izzet Baysal has won a special place in the heart of the people.
In 1994, he was honoured with the “Grand Service Medal of Turkish Republic” by the President Süleyman Demirel. The senates of Abant Izzet Baysal University, METU, Mimar Sinan University, Hacettepe University, and Anadolu University have given him Honorary Doctorates in “Education”. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey has given the Izzet Baysal Foundation the “Grand Service Reward” in 2006.
Since 1990, “Izzet Baysal Thanksgiving Days, and Science, Culture, Art and Tourism Festival” is held every year starting on 11th May for duration of three days coordinated by the province, municipality and Abant Izzet Baysal University.
The people of Bolu have given him the title of “Father of Bolu”. The main street of the city is named after him as “Izzet Baysal Street” and also one neighbourhood in Bolu and Gerede each was named as “Izzet Baysal”. His statues were erected in the city centre of Bolu and in the University in his lifetime.
When asked which of his charities was most meaningful and valuable, the Grand Benefactor Izzet Baysal replied “the love in the eyes of the youth and people of Bolu that I feel is worth all of my charities” and addressed the youth whom he loved passionately “Dear youth; I owe the things I have been able to offer you to honest and ardent work that I did all my life, to live thriftily, and to perseverance. I believe that you will be able to reach the same opportunities with the same ideals as I have had. I believe heartily that many more Baysals will emerge out of you and that I love you”. He also addressed the people of Bolu by saying “Dear people of Bolu, this Foundation is yours, protect it”.
Izzet Baysal passed away on 5th March 2000 in Istanbul. He was laid to rest, with his own wish and the special decree issued by the Assembly of Ministers, in the Campus of Abant Izzet Baysal University, amongst the youth of the University and to the heart of the people whom he loved most.