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Margaret McDermott, Giant Of Philanthropy In Dallas, Dead At 106

May 4, 2018

PEOPLE May 4, 2018 5:46 am

Margaret McDermott, who personified the "greatest generation" of givers in Dallas philanthropy and who bestowed millions upon institutions linked to the arts, education and science, died Thursday. She was 106.

Her daughter, Mary McDermott Cook, confirmed the death shortly after 3 a.m.

Born in Austin on Feb. 18, 1912, before the start of World War I, the University of Texas alumna began her post-collegiate years as a journalist, her byline showing up first in the Dallas Times Herald and later The Dallas Morning News, where she worked as society editor.

During the gloom of the Great Depression, she wrote about 1930s debutante balls and charity events in the faded elegance of such venues as the Mural Room of the Baker Hotel on Commerce Street.

But it was her philanthropy that solidified her legacy in the annals of Dallas history. She and her husband, Eugene McDermott, who died in 1973, were among the giants of local givers.

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