Developer and philanthropist Judd Herberger leaves powerful legacy

Robert G. Mull
Judd and Billie Jo Herberger.

Judd Herberger loved art all his life. Friends and family remember Herberger as one of the most generous and unforgettable people, providing space and potential for others to benefit from art in their lives.

He passed away at 79 from heart failure on Oct. 27, just 10 days after hosting donors at his home for the American Heart Association’s Phoenix Heart Ball.

Herberger and his wife Billie Jo were benevolent supporters of the Heart Ball event normally held in November.

‘Ready to tackle the world’

Herberger and his parents moved to Arizona in the 1940s.

The family was the original benefactors of Herberger Theater Center which opened in 1989 in Phoenix. The Herberger Theater now has seven individual theaters that perform there, an art gallery and an outside area created during the coronavirus pandemic so the show could go on.

The theater’s website says Herberger was involved with the theater since the beginning: “If you ask Judd where he was the week of the grand opening…he will proudly explain he was working day and night to finish the Grand Staircase, completing it the morning of the celebration around 5 a.m.”

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