Ah Shod Der Gelt: NY Widow Leaves $20 Million Gift To Library, Park


central-parkShe gave the term hush money a whole new meaning.

For more than a half-century, Mary McConnell Bailey lived an incredibly quiet and unassuming life.

“You would have never known” she was rich.

The shy widow, whose husband died in World War II, had no children, lived in a modest apartment on the East Side, and volunteered at a hospital and schools.

She died at age 88 as quietly as she lived. She never wanted an obit.

But she’ll now be remembered as a major philanthropist. She left a $20 million fortune nobody dreamed she had to her favorite New York institutions – the New York Public Library and Central Park.

She died in February 2011. The library and Central Park Conservancy recently got checks for $10 million each.

“You would have never known” she was rich, said her best friend and neighbor, Lizanne Stoll. “When we went to lunch, it was usually dutch. She was very secretive about it all.”

Bailey made it clear that when she died, she didn’t want a funeral.

Read more: Fox News

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. McConnell Baily doesn’t exactly sound like a Heimisha mishpacha. She actualy gave to 2 causes which service the tzibbur. The entire community benefits from the Library & the Park. My kids use the Library on Fridays & Central Park is 1 of the places we end up in, on Chal Hamoed. Better she gave it to these places, than planned parenthood or toaiva groups r”l.

  2. Noah – thanks.

    Perhaps you can give lessons in proper Yiddish here? ?? ????? ??? ???, ?????, ??? ???? ????? ??? ????? ???? ??? ??????? ?????, ?”?

  3. money wisely bequeathed she left it to be used for public benefit in a real way (one who steals from many ppl is advised by chz”l to give money to a cause that the public will benefit from this is a chesed that will continue to increase her zechusim in the olam haemes

  4. I don’t appreciate the headline giving us the writer’s opinion. Just give us news, without spin. I think she did a good job allocating her money to causes that she cared about and that benefit a lot of people.