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Yacht owner and philanthropist Alexander Dreyfoos dies at 91

29 May 2023

Yacht owner and philanthropist Alexander Dreyfoos has died aged 91 at his home in West Palm Beach. According to a statement in local media, Dreyfoos passed peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Sunday, 28 May.

Dreyfoos was the owner of the 40.5-metre Abeking & Rasmussen small waterplane area twin hull (SWATH) Silver Cloud (now Nurja). The platform was chosen by Dreyfoos to address his wife's motion sickness, and the yacht's unique design was revolutionary at the time of launch, having previously only been used on commercial vessels.

The 2008 build picked up two World Superyacht Awards in the year after delivery and remains one of the most distinctive superyachts in the Abeking & Rasmussen fleet. 

A keen inventor and creative, Dreyfoos held ten U.S. and many foreign patents for his inventions and was well-known for his problem-solving approach to business, with successful ventures in photography, videography and, later, private capital management. He was well-regarded for his photography, and in 2015 he released a collection of his work titled A Photographic Odyssey: Around the World with Alexander W. Dreyfoos, with proceeds going towards a local cultural council. His later biography also saw proceeds go to charitable causes. 

Dreyfoos was the first founding member of the marine conservation organisation International SeaKeepers Society. His largest philanthropic gesture was a $15,000,000 donation to MIT, which consists of two buildings, named for Dreyfoos and Bill Gates. His legacy also includes a performance hall at the Palm Beach-based Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and a high school named in his honour.

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