HENRY P. van AMERINGEN was a retired American businessman, real estate developer, philanthropist and advocate for gay rights and marijuana legalization born on this date (d: 2020). Van Ameringen worked for the International Flavor and Fragrance company, founded by his father, Arnold Louis van Ameringen.

He was a board member of the family’s van Ameringen Foundation and president of his personal foundation, the H. van Ameringen Foundation. He  began funding gay rights and HIV/AIDS organizations in 1987 following the beginning of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. He was also known as a major donor to Democratic and marijuana legalization causes.

After college, van Ameringen worked for the company founded by his father, International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) as European vice president in charge of fragrance marketing. IFF became a billion-dollar company. In 2014, IFF was listed as the third largest flavor and fragrance company in the world.

Van Ameringen and business partner and husband T. Eric Galloway  created the Lantern Organization, the Galvan Group, and the Galvan Initiatives Foundation which purchased properties in Hudson, New York, where Galloway owns a part-time residence. As of 2015, the Galvan Initiatives Foundation owned 60 parcels of land in the city with an assessed value of more than $12 million.

Van Ameringen was the president of the van Ameringen Foundation, a family foundation that deals with mental health and mental illness in New York and Philadelphia. He is also president of the H. van Ameringen Foundation, a personal foundation that concentrates on HIV/AIDS and LGBT issues.

He also served as co-chairman of the board of directors of In the Life Media and was on the board of Fountain House, an organization in New York for people with mental illness.

He was more than a checkbook, though. It wasn’t unusual to see him in an apron in the kitchen of God’s Love We Deliver (to which he was a major donor). He was also a major donor to In The Life, an LGBT newsmagazine on PBS that featured another Gay Wisdom post today, Andy Humm..

Mr. van Amerignen died at home on September 9, 2020 in his home in Manhattan.