Pillar of Palm Beach County Alexander Dreyfoos dies at 91

Originally published on WBPFNews
Written by: Steve King

Palm Beach County cultural and performing arts spearhead Alexander Dreyfoos has died at the age of 91. Now, community leaders are remembering Dreyfoos for his far-reaching impact on the county. Philanthropist Alexander Dreyfoos died peacefully on Sunday at a senior living retirement community in West Palm Beach. He was 91 years old.

Referring to him as “Alex”, Kravis Center CEO Diane Quinn remembers Dreyfoos as a pillar of the Palm Beach County arts community.

“Alex will always be remembered as a visionary and a man who understood deeply the impact that the arts would have on the development and attraction of people and business to Palm Beach County,” she said.

Dreyfoos was the driving force behind the creation of the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach.

“We are so fortunate to have had him in our lives, and his legacy lives on in all that he touched,” said Quinn.

Quinn bids farewell to Dreyfoos and shares one wish from the Dreyfoos family: to donate to the Kravis Center or the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

“It was an honor to have him as our founder and guide for the Kravis Center — he was truly a great man,” she said.

The Kravis Center is now in its 30th year.

Dreyfoos’ friend of more than 40 years, Bill Meyer, says Dreyfoos will be missed greatly in the community. Meyer is currently a board member of the Kravis Center. Meyer was the former board chair for the Kravis Center and serves on the development committee, investment committee and finance committee.

“Alex is someone that you’ll truly miss,” said Meyer. “He was just a wonderful guy.”

Bill Meyer first met Alexander Dreyfoos in 1980 when Dreyfoos was developing the Palm Beach County Economic Council, and they’d remained good friends ever since.

“Alex was a true visionary. He saw things that other people didn’t see,” said Meyer. “He was a true philanthropist. He was a fellow who not only gave his money, but he gave his time, and he gave his energy to make these things happen, to make the cultural council a reality, to make the Kravis Center a reality. Anybody can write a check. Alex didn’t just write a check. Alex had passion and commitment, and those qualities are what led to the creation of these organizations that have truly, truly changed Palm Beach County.”

In Palm Beach County, Dreyfoos’ impact is far-reaching, as he developed the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County and the Economic Council of Palm Beach County.

He also made the largest private contribution to a Florida public school ever, with $1,000,000 to Palm Beach County’s public arts magnet high school in West Palm Beach, which was then renamed the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

Last month, a street next to Dreyfoos School of the Arts was renamed to Alexander W Dreyfoos Way in his honor.

He was also a veteran, inventor, husband and father.

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