David Lloyd Kreeger, Former Geico Chairman and Washington Arts Patron, Dies
WASHINGTON (AP) _ David Lloyd Kreeger, former chairman of Geico Insurance Co. and longtime patron of the arts in the Washington area, is dead at age 81.
Kreeger died of cancer at his home Sunday.
A New York native who attended Rutgers University and Harvard Law School, Kreeger was a private attorney, with Geico as a client, when he formed a group to buy shares in the insurer in 1948.
In 1957, Kreeger gave up his law practice to become a Geico vice president. He was chairman and chief executive from 1970 until his retirement in 1974.
Kreeger served as president of the National Symphony Orchestra from 1970 to 1978 and gave his name to three buildings financed with the help of his donations at area cultural institutions - the Kreeger Theater at Arena Stage, the Kreeger Music Building at American University and the Kreeger Auditorium at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. He served as president and chairman of the Corcoran for 20 years.
His art collection contained works of the most famous artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Degas, Renoir, van Gogh, Picasso and Kadinsky, but he cared most about music.
Kreeger played violin in musical evenings at home with professionals and was most proud of a remark from famed cellist Pablo Casals that he, Kreeger, should practice more often - it showed that his playing was good enough so that practice could improve it.