The Valley is mourning the loss of a prominent philanthropist, a friend, abd a woman committed to making a better community and a better world.
Leonore Annenberg, 91, died Thursday morning with her family by her side.
Annenberg’s life and legacy lives on as her work, dedication, and love spread across the Valley.
“The community is losing one of the greatest philanthropists the world has ever seen,” said G. Aubrey Serfling, president and CEO of Eisenhower Medical Center.
Those who knew and worked with Mrs. Annenberg say through the sadness, they’re reflecting on her endless contributions.
“It’s bittersweet. We lost someone we loved very much. On the other hand, we have great pride and gratitude of the enormity of all [the Annenbergs] have done over their lives.”
Annenberg and her late husband, Ambassador Walter Annenberg, were partners in philanthropy. He died in 2002. Both wanted to help the world, and much of their mission’s work can be seen at the Palm Springs Art Museum and Eisenhower Medical Center.
“Eisenhower cleary wouldn’t be the fine institution it is without Ambassador and Mrs. Annenberg,” said Serfling.
“She was very involved in the museum and responsible for the design and funding of the building we are in now,” said Palm Springs Art Museum executive director Steve Nash.
The couple spent the winters at their Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage. They were very active in the community, donating more than $100 million to Eisenhower and more than $8 million to the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Those who worked with Mrs. Annenberg said she not only gave her time and money, but her cheerful spirit taught lessons money can’t buy.
The list of contributions made by Mr. and Mrs. Annenberg go on and on. They gave billions to arts, education, and cultural institutions around the entire nation.
For more information on their contributions, visit the Annenberf Foundation website at www.annenbergfoundation.org.