David Logan, AB’39, JD’41, supporter of arts and journalism, 1918-2011

David Logan, AB’39, JD’41, a longtime supporter of the arts and investigative reporting who left an enduring legacy at the University of Chicago, has died.

The prominent Chicago attorney and investor died of natural causes Jan. 22 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He was 93.

The mark that Logan left on campus includes the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, the future hub for the University’s robust arts scene, slated to open in spring 2012. His support has been felt across the entire University, through gifts supporting the Medical Center, the Biological Sciences, the Humanities, the College and the Law School.

“The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts will be a new foundation for the arts at the University of Chicago and will inspire creativity and collaboration across the artistic spectrum,” said President Robert J. Zimmer. “This would not be possible without the remarkable generosity and vision of David Logan.  David's transformative philanthropy will leave an important legacy on our campus, and I look forward to seeing the impact of his generosity on our community in the years to come.”

Providing a catalyst for the arts was the Logan family’s goal in 2007 when David Logan, his wife Reva, their three sons, and their nine grandchildren, gave the University a $35 million cash gift — one of the largest single donor gifts to the University in its history.

“My Mom and Dad have always believed that the arts tell us who we are,” said his eldest son, Dan Logan, during the center’s groundbreaking in May 2010. “They inspire us, and they make us better people.”

"David Logan was passionate in his love of the arts, in his respect for the University's values, and in his commitment to serving the community,” said Larry Norman, Deputy Provost for the Arts and Associate Professor in Romance Languages & Literatures. “The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts perfectly crystallizes these passions; his legacy will live here for generations."

The Logan family described the new center for the arts as David Logan’s “greatest project.”

“We have drawn deep inspiration from David Logan’s active role in building the University’s artistic community,” said William Michel, Executive Director of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. “Last fall, when David toured the construction site for the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, his enthusiasm and sense of anticipation reminded us of the historic opportunity that he made possible. His energy, insight and creativity will continue to guide our work at the new center.”

A 1939 graduate of the College and a 1941 graduate of the Law School, Logan grew up in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. He worked as an attorney before turning to investing.

A devotee of jazz music, he also was the initial funder of The Jazz Loft Project, featuring photographs and music taped by W. Eugene Smith, of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. The Project has been exhibited at Lincoln Center and the Chicago Cultural Center. The Reva and David Logan Foundation also co-funded Ken Burns’ documentary series “Jazz” on PBS.

Journalism is another of the Logans’ longstanding passions. Their foundation endowed a chair in investigative reporting at the University of California-Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. The foundation also sponsors the annual Logan Symposium, the leading international conference for investigative reporters and students, in addition to supporting the PBS investigative news program “Frontline.”

Logan called investigative reporting “the guardian of the public interest.”

The Logans have been active supporters of the arts and civic projects throughout the Chicago area. David Logan served on the Illinois Arts Council for 29 years. He headed its Budget Committee and Arts in Education Committee, and received the first Governor's Special Recognition Award for Distinguished Service in Education and the Arts. The Logans also have been major supporters of the Chicago Arts Partnership for the Arts, the multicultural literary organization The Guild Complex, the Chicago Small Schools Competition and the Reva Logan Gardens at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The Logan Foundation also funded a chair in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation at Chicago's Rehabilitation Institute.

David Logan is survived by his wife, Reva; three sons — Dan of Alexandria, Va.; Richard, of Oxford, England; and Jonathan, of Berkeley, Calif. — as well as nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Private services are set for Wednesday, with memorial services planned at a later date.