Philanthropist Ann Getty Remembered Fondly For Her Mark On SF Arts, Education

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Long-time San Francisco philanthropist Ann Getty died Monday at the age of 79.

She’s being remembered as a great lover of the arts and education, and a well-known figure among the San Francisco elite. Getty’s husband, Gordon, said Ann died of a heart attack.

Gordon is the son of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty.

"The ability of this extraordinary woman to quietly and cleverly and carefully impact on all almost every decision made by the performing arts in San Francisco," former San Francisco Mayor and friend Willie Brown said Monday.

To the public, she’ll largely be remembered as donating to a range of non-profits including the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of California, San Francisco, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and the Leakey Foundation, among many others.

"Education was really, frankly, her main passion and that came about because of the children that she had and how she wanted them to be really well educated, and then the grandchildren," Brown said.

Ann Getty, of San Francisco, died today of a heart attack. Family statement: pic.twitter.com/0F1n7WHNNR

— David DeBolt (@daviddebolt) September 14, 2020

Getty was a native of tiny Wheatland, California north of Sacramento.

"She had Sunday night dinners," Brown explained. "If you were fortunate enough to be invited to Ann’s cooking, and Ann literally modified her house to accommodate those of us who were always looking for some place for quality meals."

Both Ann and Gordon were also close to Gov. Gavin Newsom as a young child, eventually becoming regular donors to his political campaigns. His father, William, was a good friend of Gordon's dating back to their high school days.

Ann leaves behind three children and six grandchildren.