Obituary: H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, Philadelphia philanthropist and publisher, 88

Posted on: August 7, 2018

“H.F. ‘Gerry’ Lenfest, 88, who substantially remade the educational, cultural, and media sectors of the city and well beyond … died Sunday morning,” writes Peter Dobrin in Sunday’s (8/5) Philadelphia Inquirer. “Mr. Lenfest … parlayed the sale of the family cable business into a second act as the area’s leading philanthropist for nearly two decades, giving away more than $1.3 billion…. He was chairman of the board of old-line institutions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Curtis Institute of Music, successfully convincing other supporters that even great traditions needed to be expanded upon and brought up to date… The Lenfests gave away more than $1.3 billion to 1,100 organizations—providing scholarships to high school students in rural Pennsylvania, contributing to pay off the Kimmel Center’s construction debt and keep Curtis tuition-free,” and supporting many more organizations. He was among the investors who in 2014 purchased the Philadelphia Media Network, publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com. The article includes video tributes from Philadelphians including Roberto Díaz, president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music, where Lenfest was chairman of the board, and Elizabeth Warshawer, former executive vice president and chief operating officer at Curtis.

Posted August 7, 2018