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November 25, 2014

Obituary: William H. Scheide, Longtime Donor to Arts and NAACP Legal Defense Fund

William H. Scheide, an oil heir who supported some of the most important court fights of the civil-rights era as a key donor to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, died November 14 at the age of 100, The New York Times reported Sunday. Inheriting the fortune his grandfather made in a 19th-century Pennsylvania oil boom, Mr. Scheide devoted most of his life to philanthropic and artistic pursuits that also included classical music and rare books.

Mr. Scheide paid for his family's library to be reconstructed at Princeton University, his alma mater, as the Scheide Library, now home to one of the world's finest rare-book collections. The NAACP legal fund said he was its longest-serving board member and most generous individual donor. His widow, Judith Scheide, said he gave $6-million to the organization in the last two decades.