Leonore Annenberg served as U.S. Chief of Protocol during the first term of the administration of Ronald Reagan, a position that carries the rank of ambassador. She spent most of her life working toward the enhancement of cultural appreciation among American citizens. She was a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a member of the Acquisitions Committee and the Visiting Committee to the Department of European Paintings. She was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Trustee’s Council of The National Gallery of Art, one of the managing directors of The Metropolitan Opera, honorary president of the American Friends of The British Museum, and honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Arts. Mrs. Annenberg was a member of the boards of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and a member of the Academy of Music Committee. A past president and honorary trustee of the Palm Springs Desert Museum, she was also an honorary trustee of The Performing Arts Council of the Los Angeles Music Center and an honorary board member of the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation. She was a member of The Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania, a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, and a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Mrs. Annenberg founded the American Friends of Covent Garden and served as chairman of the Foundation of Art and Preservation in Embassies. In addition, she was a member of The Committee for the Preservation of The White House.
Mrs. Annenberg was married for 51 years to the late Walter H. Annenberg, publisher, philanthropist, and art collector, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Britain from 1969 to 1974. She succeeded her late husband as chairman and president of the Annenberg Foundation, and continued to donate to worthy causes in the fields of education, the arts, health, and civic affairs. She was 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 Schools for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California.
Mrs. Annenberg graduated from Stanford University in 1940 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); the University of Pennsylvania Medal for Distinguished Achievement (1994); the Crystal Award from the Union League of Philadelphia (2001); the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy (2001); the Pat Nixon Ambassador of Goodwill Award (2002); the Collaborative Partnership Award from Foundations, Inc. (2002); the United Nations Association Global Leadership Award (2005); and the 2006 Philadelphia Award. Mrs. Annenberg was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Pine Manor College (1982), the University of Pennsylvania (1985), LaSalle University (1987), Brown University (1994), the University of Southern California (1998) and Brandeis University (1999).
In 2007, Mrs. Annenberg established the Scholarship, Fellowship, and School Funds program that bears her name. The 10-year initiative offers grants and scholarships to young people who possess the potential to become the cultural and community leaders of the next generation.