Remembering Dr. W. Gerald Austen


Dr. W. Gerald Austen, who served on Knight Foundation’s board of trustees for a quarter-century and as its chair for over a decade, died Sunday, Sept. 11, at Massachusetts General Hospital, surrounded by family.

Jerry, as we all knew him, was 92.

Jerry was Jack and Jim Knight’s doctor. His care of Jack Knight during a medical crisis deepened the relationship and they became close friends. The Knights invited Jerry to join the board of the foundation, and he went on to oversee the transition from leadership by its founders, to professional management as an independent entity — a transition that, thanks to Jerry, happened with minimal stress.

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