Mandy Ourisman — 1926-2017

Two great American literary lions and rivals got together once, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who chronicled the doings of the aristocratic, wealthy class of the 1920s in “The Great Gatsby” said to Ernest Hemingway of “The Sun Also Rises” fame, “Ernie, the rich are different from you and I.”

Hemingway, less enamored, responded, “Yeah, they have more money.”

Mandell Jack “Mandy” Ourisman, who passed away July 5 in Palm Beach and whose name and family and signs of his charity and enterprise can be found all over the Washington area, had a lot more than just money.

He had dignity, style, capital energy, taste, grace and a love of the arts, and a spirit of giving and charity. He expanded an automotive sales empire, to be sure, but also shared his passions and compassion with the immediate world through giving and leading.

Ourisman Chevrolet, a business begun by his father Benjamin Ourisman in 1921, became a flagship enterprise with 36 franchises in Maryland and Virginia.

He attended Georgetown University and the U.S. Naval Academy and grew the family business, which is a familiar name in our television advertising.

More than that, he was a captain of philanthropy — from establishing the Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center at Georgetown University Hospital to his widespread support for the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts to the Police Boys Club to the Meridian International Center and numerous other groups. His wife Mary served as U.S. Ambassador to numerous countries.

A memorial service is planned for September at the Metropolitan Memorial Methodist Church. The family requests that donations be made to MedStar Health c/o the Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.


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