David C. Copley, publisher and philanthropist, dies

Endowed UCLA's Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design

David C. Copley, the owner and publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune until its sale in 2009 and a philanthropist who endowed the David C. Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, died Tuesday, Nov. 27, in La Jolla, Calif., of an apparent heart attack while driving that led to a car crash. He was 60.

Copley established the Center for the Study of Costume Design, the first of its kind in the world, in 2008 with a $6 million gift and was a member of the UCLA Foundation Governors.

“The loss of a personal friend as well as a supporter of the arts, a genuine enthusiast for the field of costume design and an evangelist for its key collaborative role in motion picture storytelling is devastating,” said Prof. Deborah Nadoolman Landis, a costume designer and founding director of the Copley Center.

Copley also financed Broadway musicals and art projects by the installation artist Christo and supported the theater program at UC San Diego.

Copley was a fan not only of fine art but of popular culture, creating the David C. Copley Prize for Most Innovative Costume at San Diego Comic Con and attending the convention each year with Landis to hand out the award.