William H. Ahmanson (1925-2008) extended his generosity to numerous public-interest endeavors, including the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, California Institute of the Arts, the Doheny Eye Institute (Los Angeles), and the National Postal Museum. His financial and philatelic donations to the NPM have enlarged the museum’s stature as a world-class center of philately.
Ahmanson donated his unparalleled collection of Canada and its British North American provinces stamps (British Columbia, Vancouver Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland) to the NPM. As a consequence of his donation, the NPM collection of Canadian stamps is complete but for one stamp. According to Canadian specialist Charles Verge, Ahmanson’s collection includes the largest number of Canadian philatelic gems known.
Although born in Omaha, Nebraska, Ahmanson spent much of his life in southern California, where he attended UCLA and then entered the banking profession. He was CEO and Chairman of the Board of H. F. Ahmanson & Company and was associated with The Ahmanson Foundation.