My daughter, Leslie Gehry Brenner, died on November 16, 2008 of uterine cancer, one month
after her 54th birthday. A wonderfully talented, original, free spirit, Leslie made us better by her
presence and leaves us mourning her absence.
Leslie was a gifted artist who was creative with everything she touched. She drew magnifi cently and was an inspired painter, photographer and filmmaker.
Leslie’s talents led her to a Masters of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, providing her with a platform on which to develop her special genius for design. She created stunning handmade jewelry, each piece unique and made at home.
She worked with V’Soske, the well-known rug designer and manufacturer, whose collection
includes designs by major 20th Century architects and designers, to develop one of her most
innovative designs into a V’Soske rug. That original design, worked out with me conceptually,
will be realized in the next few months and will be available as part of the V’Soske collection.
Leslie worked as a research editor at both Condé-Nast and Murdoch publications. She was a
political blogger and wrote short stories, essays and poems.
Leslie is survived by her mother Anita Brenner, her sister Brina Gehry, her stepbrothers Alejandro
and Samuel Gehry, her stepmother Berta Gehry, and her stepfather George Brenner.
Leslie bequeathed her estate to the Hereditary Disease Foundation and I have pledged to match it.
The Hereditary Disease Foundation has created THE LESLIE GEHRY BRENNER AWARD
FOR INNOVATION IN SCIENCE to honor her memory. This award will be given annually and
refl ects Leslie’s many talents and gifts—originality, creativity, spontaneity, precision and rigor—all critical attributes in a scientist.
Leslie, herself, planted the seeds of her award by giving her modest estate to the Hereditary
Disease Foundation. She knew about the work of the Foundation through the more than four
decades of our family’s involvement. Both Berta Gehry and I were founding trustees in 1968
when Milton Wexler began the Hereditary Disease Foundation and we continue to serve actively.
Leslie celebrated life with joy, and was extraordinarily courageous in the face of an overwhelming
assault on her body. By supporting research into why cells live or die—live too much in cancer and die
prematurely in Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s and others—we are giving life to others so that they will not have to suffer as she did.
The family requests that those wishing to honor Leslie’s memory contribute to the Hereditary Disease Foundation in her name.
All contributions should be made payable to HEREDITARY DISEASE FOUNDATION. Please indicate
that your donation is to support the LESLIE GEHRY BRENNER AWARD FOR INNOVATION IN
Contributions should be sent to:
Hereditary Disease Foundation
3960 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY, 10032
You can also donate online at www.hdfoundation.org.
Please contact Karen Dean, Controller, if you have any questions - 212.928.0420 or
Many thanks for your generosity.