On June 10, Philip Merrill went for a sail on the Chesapeake Bay. He was alone and did not return—his boat was found abandoned that evening, about 20 miles from his home. Two days later, Merrill was presumed to be dead. He was a self-made entrepreneur who owned The Capital, a daily newspaper in Annapolis, Md., as well as The Washingtonian, a glossy magazine for residents of the D.C. area. (He made Lynne Cheney one of The Washingtonian’s senior editors, before she went on to greater things, including the leadership of the National Endowment for the Humanities.) Amid this success in the business world, Merrill took time off for public service as a Republican: He was a counselor to the undersecretary of defense for policy in the early 1980s, a NATO diplomat in the early 1990s, and chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank from 2002 to 2005. He was also a philanthropist. Many of his gifts were both generous and conventional: $10 million for a journalism program at the University of Maryland and $7.5 million for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. But some were generous and conservative: $4 million to the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced and International Studies, for a center headed by strategist Eliot Cohen. Merrill was 72 when he disappeared. R.I.P.
That’s from this week’s Window on the Week, read it all here .
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