Elizabeth Brennan Moynihan
September 19, 1929 – November 7, 2023
The Leon Levy Foundation mourns the passing of our longtime, cherished trustee and beloved friend, Elizabeth Brennan Moynihan. Liz was a force of nature. Married to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan for 48 years, Liz was a brilliant political strategist, the guiding light behind her husband’s storied career as ambassador, senator and Presidential advisor. Liz and Pat were true partners in every sense. Liz was a distinguished architectural historian with a particular scholarly interest in the Mughal gardens of India. Among her scholarly achievements, she was credited with locating and documenting four previously- unknown 16th century gardens, built by Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty. Most famously, she discovered and excavated the ruined garden known as the Mahtab Bagh or “Moonlight Garden,” directly across the Yamuna river from the Taj Mahal. Liz was a founding trustee of the Leon Levy Foundation where she served for two decades. She was a source of constant inspiration and profound wisdom in helping to establish and support the Foundation’s programs in the study of the ancient world, arts and humanities, nature and gardens, neuroscience, human rights, and Jewish culture. Liz inspired the Foundation’s endowment of the Elizabeth Moynihan Curator for South and Southeast Asian Art and the Elizabeth Moynihan Research Fund for South Asian Art at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Arts. In September, Liz was an honored guest at the formal inauguration of the Moynihan Center at The City College of New York, at which Governor Hochul spoke. The Moynihan Center advances public scholarship and public service, twin goals to which Liz and Pat devoted their entire lives. Liz Moynihan’s knowledge, exuberance of spirit, common sense logic and perceptiveness leave an indelible mark on our Foundation and on all of those she encountered. Liz was a kind, giving and unforgettable woman, who left us all with loving memories that will remain forever. Our deepest condolences to Liz’s daughter Maura, her grandchildren Michael and Zora, and Liz’s many friends.
Shelby White, Founding Trustee
Trustees, Officers and Staff
Leon Levy Foundation
Grants Policy: The Leon Levy Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals or letters of inquiry. Grants are made by invitation only.