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Anne Roosevelt, one of ‘those Roosevelts,’ is honored by Humanities Council

This article originally appeared in the “Taking Names” blog on Crain’s website.

Anne Roosevelt, who heads Boeing’s global corporate citizenship program, took her phone around to every table at the Illinois Humanities Council award luncheon earlier this week to show off pictures of her first grandchild, Eleanor.

The granddaughter of President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor, was honored for her civic contributions. 

Ms. Roosevelt chairs the Roosevelt Institute in New York and is a trustee at Roosevelt University here in Chicago. She also is former head of the Brain Research Foundation at the University of Chicago. 

She joins a high-profile list of recipients of the award, including Abner and Zoe Mikva, the late Sen. Paul Simon, Barbara Gaines of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Carlos Tortolero of the National Museum of Mexican Art. 

Blackwell Consulting’s Bob Blackwell, who co-chaired the event with Jim Newcomb of Boeing’s brand-management arm, drew chuckles from the crowd when he recalled how he knew Ms. Roosevelt for four years before realizing she was one of “the Roosevelts,” which he said endeared her to him because most people would have tried to work that into the conversation right away. 

Other attendees included longtime friend and former Playboy CEO Christie Hefner; Julia Stasch of the MacArthur Foundation; Democratic doyenne Bettylu Saltzman and husband Paul Saltzman; and Martha Lavey, artistic director of the Steppenwolf Theatre Co.