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San Diego Arts Champion, David Copley, Dies

by Kelly Bennett (Voice of San Diego)

David Copley left a board meeting at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego last week, saying he wasn’t feeling well. Later that evening, Copley, the last remaining member of San Diego’s newspaper power family, died in La Jolla after suffering a heart attack. He was 60.

He played major roles in fundraising and supporting that museum and the La Jolla Playhouse, according to a survey of Copley’s role in the local arts scene by the U-T’s James Chute.

“He was very interested in what’s new and what’s next,” said Christopher Ashley, the Playhouse’s artistic director. Copley shared in a Tony Award as a producer of the Playhouse’s hit “Memphis” a few years ago.

It’s unclear how Copley’s estate may be designated, but Chute reported that it’s certain Copley’s collection of works by the artist Christo will go to the Museum of Contemporary Art, “instantly making it the largest repository of Christo’s work in the United States.”

Read more accounts of Copley’s life and ties to arts in the U-T and in the New York Times.

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