Coleman, philanthropist and advocate of Coast Guard Museum, dies

James J. Coleman Jr., a businessman and philanthropist who worked to make the National Coast Guard Museum in New London a reality, died Thursday at the age of 77 at his New Orleans home, The New Orleans Advocate has reported.

A native of New Orleans, he traveled extensively with his family as a child, the Advocate reported. He and his wife, Mary, supported arts and other institutions around the country, including the Coast Guard Museum in New London.

Coleman had purchased Union Station in New London for $3 million in 2015 to help facilitate construction of the museum adjacent to the station. He served as the chairman of the National Coast Guard Museum Association board until December 2018, when he was succeeded by Susan Curtin, a partner at Power Family Enterprises LP and president of the Kenrose Kitchen Table Foundation, headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif. Coleman at that time was named chairman emeritus.

For his efforts to create the museum, he was awarded the National U.S. Coast Guard Spirit of Hope Award, the National Maritime Historical Society Distinguished Service Award and the Alexander Hamilton Award from the National Coast Guard Museum Association, the Advocate reported.

A full obituary was not yet available late Saturday.


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