Philanthropist & Director of the Dorothy G. Bender Foundation
A native-born Washingtonian, Grace Bender’s professional life took her into the world of politics. But, she is many things: Morty’s wife, Jack’s mother and a philanthropist of some repute in the nation’s capital. Always ready to help raise funds for prominent local causes such as The Kennedy Center and Lungevity, Grace seeks out and supports young and recently established charities focused on changing the lives of the less fortunate.
Where were you raised?
I was born in Washington, D.C., a real native. I lived here for the first year or two of my life before my parents moved to Maryland.
How did your father’s profession influence you?
My father was in the restaurant business and was the manager of the casino at the Hotel Nacional in Havana for a few years. We lived in Cuba until Fidel Castro, the Communist revolutionary, started trying to take over.
What fundamental beliefs are instilled in you from that experience…or simply put, what was your takeaway?
The people in Cuba were just amazing, very loving and they appreciated life. What happened to the country after Castro took over is just pitiful. It showed me that you can have a great country, and the wrong leader can destroy it.