Sanford Ziff, a Miami millionaire philanthropist and the founder of Sunglass Hut is hoping to scrape his recently-deceased wife’s name off of the city’s Ballet Opera house in order to make room for the name of his new younger wife.
Sanford Ziff, 86, and he and his wife of 15 years, Dolores, were well-known for their charitable giving throughout Miami.
Just months after Dolores died this January, Sanford Ziff married his new girlfriend Baroness Beatrice Clancy, 68.
In the months following their July nuptials, Sanford Ziff publicly expressed his desire to change the name of the city’s Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House in the Arsht Center for performing arts.
“I’m considering name changes, especially at the Arsht Center,” Sanford Ziff told The Miami Herald.
“I haven’t quite decided yet. I still have to confer with the board.”
Calls to the Arsht Center went unreturned, and there is no word yet whether the name change has been approved, but Sanford Ziff seems to think it won’t be a problem.
“I gave $10million to the Arsht Center, so I don’t expect it to be a problem. My friends have been wonderful about me getting married.”
Before Dolores Ziff’s death of pneumonia on January 11, she was widely lauded as one of the city’s best-known members of high-society, recognized for her charitable giving to the arts and education.
Little is known of Baroness Beatrice Clancy- including what region of the world she claims her title from- but the blonde was known for her role in an unidentified 80’s sit-com.
The one thing that is certain is that Beatrice Clancy’s love life has earned her some harsh headlines in the past.
In October, Beatrice Clancy was named in a lawsuit disputing the proper distribution of the will of Bernard Schoninger, a deceased millionaire developer, with his lawyers claiming she swindled the dying man out of millions.
The suit over Bernard Schoninger’s money, which has lasted since he died of lung cancer in 2003, said that Beatrice Clancy “abused Schoninger’s trust… coerced him into conveying millions of dollars to her… with his credit cards, department store charge cards and bank accounts”.
That hasn’t put a damper on Sanford Ziff’s love for her, as he denied any knowledge of any wrong doing.
“I don’t know anything about the lawsuit. But I know that my wife is the most generous, caring and giving person I ever met,” Sanford Ziff said at the time.
The move is being viewed as callous and insensitive of Sanford Ziff, and many local journalists and bloggers have written out against the move.
There has been no official comment from the former-couple’s son, one of Dolores Ziff’ three other sons from previous relationships did speak out.
Dolores Ziff’ son Barr Keator told The Miami Herald said he was “shocked and offended he’d [Ziff] even consider this. My mother moved him to supporting the Arsht project. She had the society connections”.
If the board eventually does approve, the name-changes may not end there. The former couple also leant their name to the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Family College of education at Florida International University.