San Antonio Philanthropist Charline McCombs Dies at 91

Twitter / MajesticEmpire
Philanthropist and San Antonio icon Charline McCombs has died at 91.

Through the McCombs Foundation, McCombs contributed heavily to civic causes in San Antonio and across Texas. The nonprofit's donations totaled more than $125 million since 1981, according to the Rivard Report.

McCombs was also the lifetime director of performing arts nonprofit Las Casas Foundation. In 1998, she was made namesake of the Empire Theatre in honor of a $1 million gift that she and her husband Red McCombs gave to Las Casas to fund the completion of the theater's restoration.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg released a statement offering his condolences to the McCombs family on Twitter.

"Charline McCombs' legacy will be defined by her immeasurable generosity and kindness. Any San Antonio resident will attest to the fact that she helped shape our city's culture of compassion and philanthropy," he said. "We had a great friendship, and my family shared her love of the performing arts — in particular the Las Casas Foundation."

The Charline and Red McCombs were also instrumental in the development of the San Antonio Spurs franchise in the 1970s. Prior to Thursday night's Spurs game, Gregg Popovich — who was hired by Red McCombs to coach the team in 1988 and became close to the family over the years — gave a statement about Charline's legacy.

“It is a tremendous loss for our community and our state,” he said. “This is a spectacular woman, iconic in her own right, a matriarch of a wonderful family who has been a loving and caring person for many decades. Red is iconic in his own right for everything he has done and accomplished, but he will be the first one to tell you that she called the shots, she was the boss, and she did it with love and with care no matter who was involved.”

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.
Scroll to read more Arts Stories & Interviews articles
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.