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San Francisco philanthropist Warren Hellman dies at age 77

SAN FRANCISCO — Family members say San Francisco financier and philanthropist Warren Hellman has died from complications of leukemia.

Hellman died Sunday evening at age 77. His daughter, Patricia Hellman Gibbs, says he wasn't just a successful businessman — he was also a community leader and a dedicated musician.

Hellman bankrolled San Francisco ballot measures that reformed the city's pension system and created an underground parking garage beneath Golden Gate Park. He funded the San Francisco Free Clinic and helped set up an endowment to support aquatic sports at UC Berkeley. He also helped form the Bay Citizen online journalism site to boost local news coverage.

Since 2001, Hellman has sponsored a free, outdoor concert devoted to bluegrass music. The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival has grown into an annual three-day event at Golden Gate Park.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

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