Leon Levy, life trustee of Bard College and founder of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, died on April 6, 2003, at his home in Manhattan. Mr. Levy was the leading donor to Bard College and the chairman of the Levy Institute’s board of governors. His philanthropy and leadership provided the means to promote programs associated with the study of the humanities and economics. He supported the Levy Institute as a tribute to his father and contributed immeasurably to its development since its founding in 1986. He was a man of ideas, whose wise counsel and guidance will be sorely missed.

Mr. Levy was a hedge fund pioneer who joined the firm of Oppenheimer & Company, Inc. in 1951 and founded Odyssey Partners LP with Jack Nash in 1982. He firmly believed that investing was as much a psychological as an economic act and that the stock market surge in the 1990s did not reflect a new economic reality, but only people’s hopes. His autobiography, The Mind of Wall Street (with Eugene Linden), was published in 2002. In the last year of his life, Mr. Levy taught a course at Bard College, Contemporary Developments of Finance, to which he brought peerless knowledge, delivered with characteristic enthusiasm and passion.

Mr. Levy was a trustee of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Rockefeller University, and Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and was president of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.


  • Founder and Chairman of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
  • President of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University
  • Life Trustee of Bard College
  • Trustee of The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
  • Trustee of Rockefeller University
  • Trustee of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University


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The Levy Institute's main conference and research facility is Blithewood, on the campus of Bard College, located 90 miles north of New York City in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.