Nancy Lee Bass (1917-2013)
Nancy Lee Muse was born and raised in Fort Worth. She learned to love classical music while growing up and taking piano lessons. She graduated from Central High School (now Paschal High School) before attending the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated in 1937 with a degree in English.
In 1941, she married Wichita Falls oilman Perry Bass, nephew and successor of oil legend Sid Richardson, one of the wealthiest men in America. The couple met at a dance in Fort Worth. The Basses raised four sons, now the famous Bass brothers — Sid, Robert, Ed and Lee Bass. In 1991, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, she and her husband donated $1 million to each of 50 charitable institutions.
The Bass family owns much of downtown Fort Worth, and they helped transform a neglected area into a showpiece of urban planning. Nancy Bass was a board member for a long list of local, state and national organizations, including the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the University of Texas at Austin and the Smithsonian Institution.
Perry Richardson Bass (1914 – 2006)
Perry Richardson Bass was born on Nov. 11, 1914, in Wichita Falls, Texas. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in geology and geophysics from Yale University in 1937, Bass became Sid Richardson, his uncle, business partner. In 1939, Mr. Richardson hit the jackpot by discovering the Keystone Oil Field, a 100 million-barrel giant that formed the foundation of the family fortune
A passionate conservationist and outdoorsman, Mr. Bass was also an expert sailor. He was navigator for Ted Turner’s American Eagle when it won the World’s Open Racing Championship in 1972.
Under the Bass family’s leadership and philanthropy, downtown Fort Worth was transformed from a collection of storefronts to a glistening urban center.