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Ralph P. Davidson

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Ralph P. Davidson Obituary
Ralph P. Davidson, beloved husband, devoted father and grandfather died on August 1, 2014 at his home in North West Washington. He would have been 87 on August 17th. He is survived by his wife Lou Hill Davidson and children Will, Ross, Scott, Sydney and Mary Elizabeth. He is also survived by ten grandchildren. He is predeceased by his son Dr. Andrew Davidson. Ralph Parsons Davidson was born on August 17, 1927 in Santa Fe, New Mexico to William Clarence Davidson and Doris Parsons Davidson. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Pacific. He received a B.A. in international relations from Stanford University in 1950. Later, he worked in Europe for both the Marshall Plan and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. He began his thirty-three year career at the illustrious publishing company Time Inc. as an advertising salesman for Life Magazine in 1954. He served as publisher of Time Magazine in the 1970's and became Chairman of the Board of Time Inc. in 1980. He was often quoted as saying, "Being Publisher of Time Magazine was the best job that anyone could have." Throughout his life, Mr. Davidson served on various boards supporting the arts, such as the New York City Ballet and the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. He also served as Chairman of the National Business Committee of the Arts. Following his retirement from Time Inc., Mr. Davidson was appointed Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a position he served in from 1988-1990. Mr. Davidson was also an active supporter of higher education. He was co-chairman of the Independent Commission of the Future of the State University of New York and he served as Chairman of the Board of the American University in Bulgaria. His concern for human and environmental causes led him to serve on the boards of the National Urban League, Refugees International, World Wild Life Fund, Phoenix House and the National Council for Adoption. Mr. Davidson lived a life full of love and concern for others. He was admired for his constant pursuit of knowledge and for his lifelong spirit of adventure. His retirement years were spent in Washington DC and Vineyard Haven, MA, where he enjoyed time with his family and friends. They remember him as a renaissance man who read voraciously and would often recite passages from Shakespeare and Rudyard Kipling's Gunga Din. Mr. Davidson is loved by many and will be greatly missed by all who shared in his joy-filled life. Services to honor Ralph's life will be at the Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Please contact Joseph Gawler's Sons LLC for information on the memorial service.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Aug. 8 to Aug. 10, 2014
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