Westport woman leaves lasting philanthropy legacy across CT

Photo of Katrina Koerting
Ann E. Maurer

Ann E. Maurer


WESTPORT — Ann E. Maurer died last week, leaving behind a legacy of philanthropy that helped numerous arts organizations across Connecticut.

Maurer, who lived in Westport with her husband Gilbert C. Maurer, died of congestive heart failure on Friday, just three days shy of her 90th birthday.

“Both an incredible partner and generous soul, Ann worked tirelessly to enrich communities by supporting their cultural programs,” Gil Maurer, director and former chief operating officer of Hearst, said in a statement. “A lifelong lover of the arts, she was always looking for ways to make programs more accessible for all. I feel blessed to have called her my wife.”

As co-founder, Ann Maurer established the Maurer Family Foundation, which offers grants designed to broaden access to the arts and raise artistic standards. Grants have been awarded to organizations across the state and country.

Some of Connecticut’s recipients include the Silvermine Art Center in New Canaan, the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation in Bethany, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, the Long Warfe Theater in New Haven and Sacred Heart University’s classical radio broadcasting. Yale University, Greens Farms Academy in Westport and Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford have also benefited.

The Maurers have also been actively involved with the Norton Museum of Art, located in West Palm Beach, Fla. They also reside in Palm Beach.

“Ann and Gil Maurer have built a remarkable family and philanthropic legacy together and have served as great role models to scores of Hearst colleagues and others over the years for lives supremely well-lived,” Steven R. Swartz, president and chief executive officer of Hearst, said in a statement. “On behalf of all of our Hearst colleagues, I want to extend our deepest condolences to Gil and the Maurer family. We will all miss Ann terribly.”

Ann Maurer was born in Philadelphia in 1930 and graduated in 1951 from Wellesley College where she co-founded the Maurer Public Speaking Program in 2012 with her husband. A scholarship fund is also established there in her name.

She was a book editor for 30 years, a world traveler and accomplished chef, according to her obituary. She is remembered as a loving wife and mother.

“I’ve been privileged to have shared my personal and business life for more than 45 years with Ann Maurer and my indispensable partner Gil,” Frank A. Bennack Jr., executive vice chairman and former chief executive officer of Hearst, said in a statement. “Ann was the gold standard as wife, mother and steadfast friend. She was among the best judges of character I ever met. Her exceptional intelligence, empathy and zest for life was evident to all who knew her. She was truly family and Mary Lake and I will miss her every day.”

She is survived by her husband, their five children — Christopher, David, Peter, Jonathan and Meredith — her sister, Jane D’Espinosa, 11 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.