News and Features

Fort Worth Philanthropist Nancy Bass Has Died at 95

Nancy Lee Bass, matriarch of the philanthropic Bass family of Fort Worth has died.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Bass died last night at her home.

A statement from her sons said “Our mother passed away last night peacefully in her home, seven days shy of her 96th birthday.” Nancy Lee and Perry Bass had four sons, all of whom have had generous impact on Fort Worth’s museums, music, schools and other institutions.

Longtime friend, Fort Worth attorney Dee Kelly says Nancy Lee Bass was the “beautiful star in an all-star family.”

“She lived all of her almost 96 years in Fort Worth. She was born and raised in Fort Worth.  Her birthday was on March 7th. She would have been 96 on her birthday next week.  She really cared about people in this community. She was thoughtful and kind, and genuinely concerned about other people.”

The Bass family fortune began in the oilfields of West Texas during the Depression with wildcatter Sid Richardson, an uncle.

Kelly says Fort Worth has taken a double hit to the heart this week with the passing of Nancy Lee Bass and her dear friend, Fort Worth favorite son Van Cliburn.

The Bass Performance Hall in downtown Fort Worth is named for Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass. Perry Bass died in 2006, at 91.

  • mrEmannE

    Kelly is right. Losing Van Cliburn and Nancy Lee Bass in the same week is a cultural blow. And it’s hard to say which one had the greater cultural impact. Rest in peace, both.