amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

In Memoriam: Longtime amfAR Trustee Wallace Sheft, 1929-2017

Longtime amfAR Trustee Wallace Sheft passed away peacefully in Florida on Sunday, March 12.

Mr. Sheft – or Wally, as he was affectionately known – joined the board of an amfAR predecessor, the National AIDS Research Foundation (NARF), in early September 1985. He became a founding director of amfAR just a few weeks later, following the unification of the Los Angeles-based NARF and the New York-based AIDS Medical Foundation.

Mr. Sheft served as amfAR’s treasurer from March 1987 until his resignation from the Board in August 2015.  During his tenure on the board, he chaired the audit committee and served on the executive and investment committees. 

As business manager for the late Rock Hudson, Mr. Sheft served as executor of Hudson’s estate after he died of AIDS-related causes in October 1985.  Rock Hudson contributed $250,000 to amfAR in September 1985, making the first direct contribution to the nascent foundation. 

Mr. Sheft was chief executive officer and director of a soybean food processing plant in Iowa for 10 years. He co-founded one of the earliest Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC), which were government-funded and sought to help fledgling companies expand.

He retired from a certified public accounting firm that specialized in handling the business affairs of actors and others in the entertainment field. His firm also specialized in the automobile field, specifically in improving the operations of auto dealerships.

amfAR is profoundly grateful to Mr. Sheft for his many important contributions to the Board of Trustees and to the Foundation. He will be remembered with affection for his warmth, dedication and personal generosity, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Sheft’s family.