St. Mary’s College of Maryland mourns the loss of Constantine “Gene” Mako, philanthropist to the college and international tennis hall of famer. Mako died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Friday, June 14, 2013. He was 97 years old.
In 2004, the St. Mary’s College art gallery acquired the Mako Collection. This assortment of over 700 artworks was given to the college by Gene Mako to help further the academic goals of students, and has helped to expand the gallery’s collection by strengthening areas that were minimally represented. Mako’s massive gift also gives professors and students more opportunities to use artworks in classes and St. Mary’s Projects.
“Gene Mako’s gift made it possible for our art collection to grow significantly,” said Beth Rushing, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. “We are grateful for his generosity, which has provided an incredible learning resource for faculty and students.”
Mako was born on Jan. 24, 1916, in Budapest, Hungary. As a child, he immigrated with his family to Buenos Aires and then Los Angeles, where his father, artist Bartholomew Mako, created works for public places like churches, libraries and post offices.
In 1973, Mako was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame for a successful tennis career, which included two U.S. and two Wimbledon titles. After retiring from tennis, he later became an art dealer in Los Angeles at Gene Mako Galleries. He also served in the Navy during World War II.
Mako, who lived in West Hollywood, is survived by his wife, Laura.