Arts philanthropist Nancy B. Hamon died Saturday at her home in Dallas. She was 92. Her gifts included a $20 million donation in 1988 to fund the 140,000-square-foot Nancy and Jake L. Hamon Building at the Dallas Museum of Art and $10 million for the Winspear Opera House. An actress and dancer in the 40’s, she married famed oil wildcatter Jake L. Hamon Jr.; the couple was known for their extravagant parties in the 50’s and 60’s. After her son, stepdaughter, and husband all passed away in the 80’s, she commented, “Well, what are your choices? You can become a recluse, or you can become the village drunk — or you can try to get out and make the world a little better.” SMU, Booker T. Washington High School, and a slew of hospitals and libraries also benefited from Mrs. Hamon’s generosity. “I’d rather spend it all while I’m alive, and know where it’s going, than have lawyers and executors doing it,” she said.
Dallas Arts philanthropist Nancy Hamon dies at 92
by Bill Davenport July 31, 2011