Lowry and Peggy Mays

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Clear Channel Communications

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Health, Environment & Animals, Arts & Culture, San Antonio Community. 

OVERVIEW: L. Lowry Mays, his wife Peggy and family move their philanthropy through the Mays Family Foundation. Mays' focus has been on San Antonio and other regions of Texas, where the family has strong ties. Areas of focus include education: undergrad alma mater Texas A&M is home to the Mays Business School. Sums have also gone to health outfits, arts and culture, and other causes. The Mays Family Foundation was formed in 2004 and combined with the Clear Channel Foundation, has contributed over $55 million to the communities in which the family lives, works or serves.

BACKGROUND: L. Lowry Mays grew up Dallas. He went to Texas A&M University and started out working as a petroleum engineer but ended up serving in the Air Force. After a time in Asia, Lowry got his MBA from Harvard Business School, and moved back to San Antonio where he worked at an investment banking company and later formed his own. In the early 1970s, Lowry and fellow Texan "Red" McCombs purchased their own radio station. Today, Clear Channel Communications, now called iHeartCommunications, is the nation's largest radio operator. Lowry was once on the Forbes billionaire list, but it's unclear how much he's currently worth.


EDUCATION & YOUTH: Mays and his wife Peggy, through the Mays Family Foundation, support a education and youth outfits. Grantees have included Texas A&M Foundation, Alamo Heights School Foundation, YMCA of Greater San Antonio, Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio, KIPP SA, Vanderbilt University, and University of Texas. 

HEALTH: The Mays' health philanthropy is personal, as Mays suffered a stroke and Peggy has had cancer. In 2015, the couple gave a $5 million gift to University of Texas Health Science Center’s Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC). Peggy received treatment at this outfit some three decades ago. The foundation also recently gave $2.5 million to Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. Other grantmaking through the foundation includes Blood and Tissue Center Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

ENVIRONMENT & ANIMALS: Mays has funded select environmental and animal outfits including Animal Defense League, Bat Conservation International, Brackenridge Park Conservancy, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, National Geographic Society, and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. A component of the couple's philanthropy involves this state and the couple has a home there.

ARTS & CULTURE: In 2014, the Mays Family Foundation donated $1.25 million toward the ongoing construction of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio. Other grantees have included McNay Museum of Art, Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Zoo, and the Witte Museum, home to the Mays Family Center. The family also has directed sums to the George W. Bush Foundation, which supports the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. 

SAN ANTONIO COMMUNITY: Grantees have included United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, and special education school The Arc of San Antonio. They've also supported local churches like Pius X Church, St. Anthony De Padua Church, and Christ Episcopal Church.

LOOKING FORWARD: In his 80s, Mays' philanthropy is largely regional and this is likely to continue.