Bedford’s William Louis-Dreyfus Was a Westchester Giant

Funeral services for the ‘Veep’ star’s philanthropist dad will take place in Mt. Kisco

At last night’s Emmys, Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus took many viewers aback after dedicating her fifth-consecutive trophy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series to her father, the billionaire businessman and poet William Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, whom she revealed had passed away two days prior at 84. The news particularly resonated with residents around Bedford, where Louis-Dreyfus had lived for the last decade-plus in a house he’d owned for more than 45  years. It also reverberated through Mt. Kisco, site of the his personal art gallery, which raises money for several regional causes, including the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund (the gallery’s scheduled September 25 benefit for the fund will still be taking place) and a local environmental group committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. And in recent years, Louis-Dreyfus turned his attention toward increasing arts education for young people living in poverty. Not long before his passing, the benefactor pledged to dedicate a large number of his collected works to the Harlem Children’s Zone. (The documentary Generosity of Eye details this relationship.)The Parisian-born mogul would eventually become chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services, a subsidiary of The Louis Dreyfus Group, a trading and merchandising company started by his great-grandfather Léopold in 1851. Louis-Dreyfus was also a former chairman of the Poetry Society of America. His daughter, Julia, rose to prominence as a cast member of Saturday Night Live and then Seinfeld, and has been headlining HBO’s political satire Veep since 2012.Details on private funeral services for Louis-Dreyfus at Mt. Kisco’s Cassidy-Flynn funeral home have yet to be disclosed, but well-wishers can join individuals from Somers to San Diego by signing his memorial guestbook here.

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