Statement from President Karen R. Lawrence Regarding the Passing of Charlie Munger

Posted on Tue., Nov. 28, 2023
Charles Munger

From left: Navy Banyard; Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence; Andrew Kuo; Wendy Munger; Charlie Munger; Janet Alberti, Anne and Jim Rothenberg Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Randy Shulman, senior vice president for advancement and external relations; Doerthe Obert; and Thomas Polansky, vice president for operations and facilities. | The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

The Huntington is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend Charlie Munger, who died today at age 99. Our hearts are with the Munger family at this time.

Nancy, his late wife, introduced Charlie to The Huntington several decades ago and helped him develop an affection for its vitality and future. Over time, his affection would manifest in transformative change for the institution.

In particular, he adopted several major projects that would shift the course of The Huntington’s trajectory:

  • Building the Munger Research Center to help manage the massive growth of the Library’s collections. The 90,000-square-foot building added reading rooms for researchers, a conservation center, a digital imaging lab, and much-needed collections storage and office space.
  • Helping to create the Education and Visitor Center to better accommodate our many visitors with new facilities, including a cafe and coffee shop, a world-class auditorium, classrooms, and one of the world’s finest museum stores.
  • Providing $40 million to create housing for visiting research fellows, fulfilling one of The Huntington’s long-time strategic goals. The communal space in this residential complex will be named for Charlie’s daughter, Wendy, who was until recently a Huntington Trustee.

The Munger family’s philanthropy has been transformative, and their insights, leadership, and graceful guidance have served to make The Huntington a better place for all who engage with it—from students to research scholars, from casual visitors to Members and the 550 staff members who dedicate much of their time to stewarding the collections and engaging with audiences.

Personally, it has been my great privilege to get to know Charlie and benefit from his wisdom. I will miss our conversations, his quick wit, and his good humor. I am very thankful to be able to savor these memories.