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Lord Rayne, 85; British Developer and Philanthropist

October 11, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

British developer Lord Rayne, 85, who helped put up the General Motors building in New York and to regenerate parts of central London, died Friday, British property company London Merchant Securities PLC announced.

Lord Rayne, who ran London Merchant Securities for 40 years until 2000, accumulated a fortune of $224.6 million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

He mainly built in areas of the British capital that later became fashionable, and participated in the 50-story General Motors building, which was completed on 5th Avenue in 1968.

Lord Rayne was a donor to the National Theatre in London, London Festival Ballet and St. Thomas' Hospital, London Merchant said in its statement.

The Rayne Foundation will continue his support of the arts, education, health and social welfare, it said.

London Merchant, whose chief executive is Lord Rayne's son Robert, now has most of its properties in districts of the British capital, such as Islington and Clerkenwell.

Lord Rayne's second wife was Lady Jane Antonia Frances Vane-Tempest-Stewart, who was a maid of honor at Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953, helping to carry her 20-yard train.

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