Arts Patron Charles Wyly Dies In Car Accident

By now you have likely heard the news that has been circulating since yesterday afternoon: Charles Wyly, the namesake of the Arts District’s Wyly Theatre, passed away yesterday morning in Aspen, Co, where he was involved in a car accident.

Wyly is best known as a successful and crafty businessman who along with his brother Sam launched numerous business enterprises and created a fortune. Wyly was also a benefactor of the arts and republican causes. Most recently, the Security and Exchange Commission charged the pair of businessmen with insider trading, allegations Charles fervently denied.

Speaking from their Colorado home Sunday, Sam Wyly told the Dallas Morning News that his brother was never too concerned with the SEC, which began investigating the pair in 2004.

From the DMN:

Using offshore tax shelters named after the Louisiana towns where they grew up, the SEC charged, the brothers concealed $550 million worth of transactions between 1992 and 2004, spending the profits on jewelry, art, real estate and charity.

The brothers dismissed the investigation as a waste of tax dollars and seemed publicly confident they would beat the charges.

Sam Wyly said Sunday that his brother was not unduly stressed by such events as the SEC lawsuit.

Despite these business dealings, Wyly’s impact on the local arts scene was broad. In addition to contributing $20 million to the construction of the new home of the Dallas Theater Center, Wyly was a benefactor of a number of local arts organizations.

Image: Dee and Charles Wyly (Photography by Christina Barany for D Magazine)


  • RichC


    I was happy to know you. May you rest in peace.

  • TxnByBrth

    Good men…both of them. I think the SEC thing was nothing more than people in NY using their influence with crooked bureaucrats at the SEC to distract the Wyly’s from things happening in NYC with a certain software company…

  • Texan

    I guess this means he won’t be around to answer the charges from the SEC.. Also, he won’t be able to fund smear campaigns against democrats. Karl Rove will be sure to miss the financial assistance for his “American Crossroads”. I am sure the world will miss this great man who was just accused in a complaint by the SEC of violating federal securities laws and committing fraud by using offshore accounts to secretly trade the shares of public companies whose boards the brothers sat on, reaping more than $550 million in profit [Washington Post, 7/30/10]

    However, since money is NOT democracy, DEMOCRACY will NOT miss this man.

  • Jack

    Another right-winger sending his profits overseas instead of paying his patriotic fair share for roads, bridges, and schools. The afterlife will take care of him.

  • John O

    I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
    Clarence Darrow

    This lying sack should rot in hell.

  • John

    How about these people who talk bad about someone who has given 10’s of millions of dollars to charities in Dallas tell how much THEY give to charity?

  • Jimbo

    Wasn’t Charles Wyly the guy who financed the smear campaign against Kerry in 2004? I guess all his charities are just there to cover his real intentions. A real mean-spirited person.

  • Robert

    Wow, some pretty mean spirited comments coming from those who’ve probably never even met Mr. Wyly. He’s the saintliest man I’ve ever had the privelege of knowing. Kind, caring, compassionate, giving, gentle, soft spoken…a truly beautiful soul. Your negative comments cast a light on your ignorance.

    PS- I’m a registered democrat.