One of Philadelphia’s leading philanthropist, H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, sadly died Sunday, August 5 at the age of 88. I was fortunate to interact with him at multiple events throughout the city during the past 5 years. Some of my favorite images were at a Teach of America Gala. But I documented Lensfest and his wonderful wife, Marguierite, at the Museum of the American Revolution. The Lensfest family donated a great deal of time, expertise and money to ensure the museum is the magnificent testament to our founders that it is today. The Lensfest’ were always warm and generous in my interactions.
As a former journalist, I’m also partial to his decision to support Philadelphia journalism. In 2016, Lenfest did something unprecedented in the newspaper industry; donating the Philadelphia Media Network to a new nonprofit, the Institute for Journalism in New Media. It gave the newspaper the ability to serve a non-profit model, rather than a for-profit one.
I believe this is something that should be replicated and I’m so grateful that the Lenfest family see the value in truth, news, and an informed public. As Ed Rendell put it recently, “we’ve lost our greatest citizen, there’s no doubt about that.”
Below are a few of my favorite images of Gerry.