William T. Golden, Long-Time Leader Of American Trust, Dies

William T. GoldenWilliam T. Golden, whose leadership of the American Trust for the British Library dates to the late 1970s, has died at the age of 97. He was the co-chairman of the ATBL at the time of his death.

Mr. Golden, along with the late Arthur Houghton, the late Viscount David Eccles and the late Douglas Bryant, the ATBL’s founding director, was instrumental in nurturing the American Trust in its fledgling days.

In the British Library’s time of need, Golden led the campaign in the U.S. to restore the Library’s American collections which had been damaged in WW II. His generosity also accounted for much of the replenishment of the British Library’s extensive Judaica during the early 1980s. For the last two decades he continued to lead the ATBL, inspiring many of his numerous friends to join its ranks as significant benefactors.

For more than fifty years, as a main architect of American science policy in the 20th century, Bill Golden was “at the nexus of science and society as a man who knew almost everybody in science and government,” the New York Times reported in its obituary.

A third-generation descendant of Lithuanian immigrants, Mr. Golden made his fortune on Wall Street as an investment banker before plunging into his second life as a philanthropist. Over the years he served as a trustee or officer or board member of nearly 100 organizations, universities and government agencies.

He is remembered by his American Trust colleagues for his singular humanity, his penetrating wisdom and advice, his warm wit and modesty, traits that endeared him to not only his fellow book lovers in this organization but reached across the ocean to touch his many British friends as well.

The ATBL Board of Trustees, at its annual meeting on October 15th, just a week or so after Mr. Golden’s death, passed a resolution honoring his long service to the ATBL and expressing the Board’s deep sorrow at his passing.

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