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)

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