Linde earned a degree in civil engineering at MIT and then an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1964. He co-founded Boston Properties, one of the largest real estate investment trusts in the country, with Mort Zuckerman in 1970. Linde was president of the company until his son, Douglas T. Linde, succeeded him in 2007.
A term member of the Corporation from 1990 until 1995, Linde was a tireless supporter of his alma mater. In October 2008, Linde and his wife, Joyce, with the Linde Family Foundation, pledged $25 million to MIT — one of the largest pledges to undergraduate financial aid in the history of the Institute. The gift publicly launched the Institute’s Campaign for Students, which includes undergraduate scholarships as a core priority along with graduate fellowships, education and student life.
"MIT and the Boston community have lost a wise and kind friend," said MIT President Susan Hockfield. "Just as Ed Linde's business ventures shaped the Boston skyline, his charismatic leadership and enlightened generosity defined the highest standard of public citizenship. He, together with his wife, Joyce, transformed the many institutions they embraced, from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of Fine Arts to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and MIT. I will miss his engaging intellect, his broad-ranging curiosity and his joyful commitment to strengthening the public institutions that turn a city into a community."
Linde was a member of the visiting committee for MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning from 1993 to 1997, serving as its chair from 1993 to 1995. He was also a member of the visiting committees for the School of Architecture and Planning from 1990 to 1993 and for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1983 to 1989 and from 1990 to 1995. During his time on the Corporation, Mr. Linde also served on the Development Committee, the Corporation Joint Advisory Committee on Institute-Wide Affairs, and the Corporation Screening Committee for Nomination of Recent Graduates.
A prominent philanthropic figure, Linde was chairman of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in October. In 2008, he became a member of the Board of Directors of WGBH and Boston World Partnerships. He also served on the President’s Advisory Council on Regional Engagement at MIT and was a member of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Visiting Committee for Hematologic Oncology. He served as chairman of the board of the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston between 1989 and 1991 and remained a trustee of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Linde is survived by his wife, two children and five grandchildren.