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Gerhard "Gerry" R. Andlinger, international business executive, investor, philanthropist and sportsman, died peacefully in his sleep at home on Friday December 22. He was a resident of Vero Beach, FL and spent time at his homes in New York City, Aspen and Weisssenbach am Attersee, Austria. He was 86. Chairman and founder of the private investment firm Andlinger & Company, Gerry's distinguished life was marked by his many enterprises and interests. He was an entrepreneur of vision and integrity; a leader in the industries of communication, housing and aerospace; a passionate supporter of higher education, the arts and innovative research; a multi-linguist interested in solving global challenges; a climber of mountains and sailor of seas; and a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Born on January 17, 1931 in Linz, Austria, Gerry grew up during World War II. Amidst the difficult wartime circumstances and the loss of his father as a young boy, Gerry went on to become a true American and global success story. He learned English by reading Life Magazine and listening to the Armed Forces Radio Network. In 1948, when he was a junior in high school in Austria, the New York Herald-Tribune ran an essay contest in every country in Europe: the title was "The World I Want." A boy and a girl from each country were chosen based upon this essay for a three-month trip to the U.S.; Gerry was the Austrian boy who won. After seeing the U.S. and visiting Princeton University, he decided he had to study there. At the age of 19 he received a scholarship to Princeton and graduated after two years in 1952 with a degree in economics and Arabic. He continued his studies at Harvard Business School and was awarded an M.B.A in 1954. Following his service as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army and becoming a U.S. citizen, Gerry applied his many talents and energies to a career as a global business leader. He was noted for his managerial expertise and turnaround skills while making philanthropy and service to others central to his life's work. He began with McKinsey & Company and, in 1960, was recruited to International Telephone and Telegraph as its first Director of Planning. In several stints with the company, he eventually rose to Executive Vice President and President of ITT Europe. In 1976, Gerry formed his own private investment firm, Andlinger & Company, Inc., and became renowned as an early practitioner of leveraged buyouts and management buyouts. After more than 100 acquisitions, and until his death, he remained Chairman of the firm, which now has offices in the U.S., Brussels and Vienna. Gerry often spoke movingly of his experience coming to study in the U.S., and he believed in the power of education and research to improve society. He devoted much of his time and leadership to philanthropic activities, which encompassed cancer research, concussion research through the Concussion Legacy Foundation, women's mental health research (especially at Massachusetts General Hospital), the Salzburg (music) Festival, the Austrian American Foundation and major gifts to Princeton University, including the creation of the Andlinger Center for the Humanities and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. His transformative gift for Princeton's energy and environment center was instrumental in accelerating research on effective and sustainable solutions to protecting the environment and developing clean energy sources. Gerry was devoted to his family, and they often spent time together sailing, skiing and hiking. He loved cruising around the world with his family on his sailboat Perseus, and racing in Superyacht regattas in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean on his sailboat P2. Gerry is survived by his wife of 26 years, Jeanne Dailey Andlinger; four loving children: Merrick Andlinger, Margaret Maas, Nicole Linn, Tristan Andlinger; four grandchildren; two great- granddaughters; and numerous loving in-laws, nieces, nephews and long-time friends. Gerry was predeceased by his son, Gerhard "Ger" R. Andlinger II, and his grandson, Bodie Maas. A memorial service will be held on January 20, 2018 at 2pm in the Princeton University Chapel.

Published in The New York Times on Jan. 7, 2018
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