Edgar Foster Daniels
June 3, 1932 – July 31, 2020
Edgar Foster Daniels died of natural causes on July 31 at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Edgar was 88 years old. He was the son of Evelina and Josephus Daniels, Jr. and the grandson of Addie and Josephus Daniels. Edgar was born in Raleigh where his grandfather was owner and publisher of the News and Observer Publishing Company, which published the Raleigh News and Observer.
Early in life, Edgar determined that the newspaper business was not for him. From the age of six, Edgar loved acting. After attending the University of North Carolina, where he began studying theater, he attended Columbia University and studied acting under Milton Smith, former director of Columbia’s School of Dramatic Arts.
Edgar graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Drama and Theater Arts. He appeared on Broadway, in films and on television. After three decades in California working on stage, screen, and television, including roles on Bonanza, The Young and the Restless, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Edgar retired from acting in 1983 and relocated to Santa Fe. Edgar became familiar with Santa Fe because of his love of opera and his longtime friendship with John Crosby, the founder of The Santa Fe Opera. Edgar also had a home in Chapel Hill for many years before moving to Santa Fe full-time.
When the family publishing company was sold to The McClatchy Company in 1995, Edgar turned his full-time attention to philanthropy, and he established The Edgar Foster Daniels Foundation. Edgar’s and his Foundation’s focus was to provide support to American and international opera companies. In support of the Foundation’s activities, Edgar served on the Board of Directors of The Metropolitan Opera, The San Francisco Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, and The Los Angeles Opera and was a lifetime board member of Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Edgar, individually, and his Foundation underwrote productions at The Santa Fe Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Dallas Opera, and The San Francisco Opera, and they also provided support to the Salzburg Festival, the Bayreuth Festival, The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Glyndebourne Festival.
In 2015, Charles MacKay nominated Edgar for a position of an honorary director of The Santa Fe Opera Board and for the 2015 Governor’s Award for the Arts. Governor Martinez recognized Edgar for his philanthropy in 2015 with the award. Edgar also served as an honorary director of the Santa Fe Opera until his death.
Edgar’s support of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival allowed the company to double the number of performances over the last decade by adding noon concerts. Through the support of Edgar and his Foundation, the Santa Fe Chamber music offered mid-day performances all summer long. They also supported a morning program at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. Both programs became quite popular mainstays for each organization. Additionally, Edgar’s foundation provided funding to Performance Santa Fe, St. Vincent’s Hospital Foundation, and the Spanish Colonial Arts Society. Edgar was also passionate about the New Mexico’s visual arts and was an avid art collector.
The performing arts will miss Edgar and his generous support, but Edgar’s passion for opera will live on through the Edgar Foster Daniels Foundation.
Edgar is survived by his three first cousins, Frank Daniels, Jr., Patsy Daniels and Dr. Lucy Daniels.
A graveside service for Edgar Foster Daniels, who passed away on July 31, 2020, will be held at 2pm on Wednesday, September 23rd at Historic Oakwood Cemetery. Edgar will be laid to rest alongside his parents and grandparents.
He will be laid to rest in the family plot in the historic Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Edgar Foster Daniels Foundation, 450 Circle Dr. Santa Fe, NM 87501-8882.
Arrangements in Raleigh by Brown-Wynne, 300 Saint Mary's St.
Edgar Foster Daniels Foundation
450 Circle Dr. , Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501-8882
A Graveside Service
Historic Oakwood Cemetery
Edgar Foster Daniels
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
August 4, 2020
Oh, Uncle E (no blood relation, alas). We shared some riotous times in the old days. You did more for the arts than almost anyone in town, we will all miss you terribly. Say hi to Goldflake, Pelleas & Thais for me, they must be wiggling their corgi butts with joy to see you. Love, Jo
Leanne Louise Zander, RN BSN
August 3, 2020
'For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity'.
Rest in peace Mr Daniels...