In Memoriam: H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest

We are saddened to join the Greater Philadelphia region in mourning the passing of H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest -- a philanthropist long known for his commitment to making the Greater Philadelphia area stronger. He passed away on Sunday, August 5.

"Gerry Lenfest was and will be remembered as one of Philadelphia's greatest citizens, and one of America's great philanthropists,” said Pedro A. Ramos, President and CEO of The Philadelphia Foundation.

"His recognition along with his wife Marguerite as recipients of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy shows that their impact has been on a national scale, but no place has felt the privilege of their generosity more deeply than Philadelphia,” added Anthony J. Conti, chair of the Board of Managers for The Philadelphia Foundation.

Ramos said the Lenfests together have served as models and inspirations.

“What a powerful combination of caring, intellect, conviction, humility and action Gerry and Marguerite have brought to helping others and to championing our nation's most fundamental democratic principles and civic institutions,” Ramos said. “They've inspired their family, friends, and many more than they could know.” 

“During my various roles in Philadelphia, I have been blessed to witness the inspiring idealism and focused action of Gerry and Marguerite,” he said.

The Lenfest Institute for Journalism falls under the auspices of The Philadelphia Foundation's Special Assets Fund. 

"When the concept of naming the Institute in his honor came up, the only one in the room who was reluctant to do so was Gerry, because he wanted the focus to remain on local journalism," Ramos said. "He was gracious even when overruled by those who felt this was a signature recognition of his landmark generosity and his willingness to pursue an innovative approach." 

"Given his unparalleled record of support for many organizations throughout the Greater Philadelphia region and nationally," Ramos added, "we were honored and humbled that at the time the Institute was created, he stated nothing he had done philanthropically was more significant to him than its creation." 

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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