Leonore Annenberg (1918-2009) was a Chief of Protocol for the United States of America. She spent most of her life working toward the enhancement of cultural appreciation among American citizens. She was a trustee emerita and a member of the Acquisitions Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a member of the Trustee’s Council of The National Gallery of Art, one of the managing directors of The Metropolitan Opera and an honorary president of the American Friends of the British Museum. She was a member of The Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania, a trustee emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania, a member of the Visiting Committee to the Department of European Paintings, a member of the American Philosophical Society and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mrs. Annenberg was president and an honorary trustee of the Palm Springs Desert Museum and an honorary trustee of The Performing Arts Council of the Los Angeles Music Center. She was a member of the boards of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Orchestra Association and also served as a member of the Academy of Music Committee. She was an honorary board member of the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation and an honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Arts.
She was President and Chairman of the Annenberg Foundation from 2002-2009, a charter member of the Board of Overseers of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University and a founding member of the governing boards of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Her husband, Walter H. Annenberg, former Ambassador to the Court of St. James, founded these schools. While in London, Mrs. Annenberg supervised the renovation of the embassy residence and founded the American Friends of Covent Garden.
Mrs. Annenberg was chairman emeritus of the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, a private nonprofit, non-partisan foundation established to assist the United States Department of State in procuring and maintaining fine and decorative art, including furniture and paintings for United States Embassies, Chanceries and Ambassadorial residences. In addition, Mrs. Annenberg was a member of The Committee for the Preservation of The White House.
Mrs. Annenberg graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She received the Cavaliere Dell’Ordine “Al Merito Della Republica Italiana” (1961); the Grand Officio Order of Orange-Nassau from the Netherlands (1981); the Wagner Medal for Public Service from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, the Colonial Williamsburg Churchill Bell Award (1993), the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment of the Arts (1992) and the University of Pennsylvania Medal for Distinguished Achievement (1994), the Crystal Award from the Union League of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2001), the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy (2001), the Pat Nixon Ambassador of Goodwill Award (2002), the Collaborative Partnership Award from Foundations, Inc. (2002), and an Honorary Fellow of Eton College – Windsor (2003). Mrs. Annenberg was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Pine Manor College (1982); LaSalle University (1987); The University of Pennsylvania; Brown University; The University of Southern California (1998) and Brandeis University (1999).
Photograph by Douglas Kirkland.