MARTHA T. MUSE

Obituary
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  • - David Slonim
  • "Like a bridge across time and distance, memories we share..."
    - Daniel Muse
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    - Janet
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MUSE--Martha Twitchell. The board and staff of the Tinker Foundation Incorporated mourn the passing of its former Chairman and President, Martha T. Muse. She died on Sunday, February 9th, in Stuart, Florida after a brief illness. Martha was born in Dallas, Texas in 1926, the daughter of John Blackburn Muse and Kathryn Poole Burbank, but lived in New York City for most of her life. She maintained residences in New York City, Connecticut and Florida. Her principal interests focused on Latin America, but she contributed substantially to educational, corporate and non-profit areas. Martha was a founding director of the Tinker Foundation. She served as its president for 27 years and its chairman for 33 years, retiring in 2008. It was under her direction that the Foundation became a leading funder of Latin American-related activities providing support for educational, environmental, security, economic, legal and governance issues. Martha received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College in 1948 and a master's degree in political science from Columbia University in 1955. In 1981 she received an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University. She was the first woman elected as a trustee to Columbia University and was among the first women named to the Board of the New York Stock Exchange and the Council on Foreign Relations. She served on numerous corporate boards including The Bank of New York, May Department Stores, Sterling Drug Inc., ASARCO, ACF Industries and Associated Dry Goods. Her non-profit boards included the Americas Society, the Spanish Institute, and the Luso-American Development Foundation. For her many contributions to the field of Latin American relations she received numerous awards: Orden del Sol del Peru, Order of Bernardo O'Higgins (Chile), Order de Mayo al Merito (Argentina); Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul (Brazil), and awards from the Spanish Institute and the Americas Society. She was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Colony Club, the Huguenot Society and the National Society of Colonial Dames. One of her final directives to the Tinker Foundation was incorporating Antarctica-related subjects under its funding mandate. Her support of Antarctica was recognized in 2009 by the establishment of the Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, an award for mid-career Antarctic scientists and policy makers. A memorial service will be held in New York City in the late spring. Letters of inquiry and condolence may be sent to the Tinker Foundation, 55 E. 59th St., New York, NY 10022.

Published in The New York Times on Feb. 12, 2014