Argyle Television Executive and Renowned Art Collector Blake Byrne Dies at 83

The co-founder of Argyle Television, Blake Byrne, died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 83. 

Executive director of The Skylark Foundation, Barbara Schwan, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Byrne passed away in his Hollywood Hills home. 

Byrne founded the Skylark Foundation more than two decades ago, with the aim of funding education, environmental protection, and services for women, the elderly and gay and lesbian youth.

He moved to Los Angeles in the late eighties and founded Argyle Television in the early nineties. The company merged with Hearst Corp five years later. 

Blake Byrne received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University in 1957 and went on to become one of the world's most renowned art collectors. 

He began collecting art in 1988 and soon shifted his focus to contemporary art. His collection included works from Dumas, Martin Kippenberger, and Juan Muñoz.

Congressman Richard Gephardt (L) with Blake Byrne on stage at Project Angel Food's 11th Annual Angel Awards Gala held at Project Angel Food Headquarters. Photo: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine

Congressman Richard Gephardt (L) with Blake Byrne on stage at Project Angel Food's 11th Annual Angel Awards Gala held at Project Angel Food Headquarters. Photo: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine

The celebrate his 70th birthday in 2005, Byrne donated 123 artworks to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

For his 80th birthday, Byrne opened the traveling exhibition “Open This End," and made donations to Museum of Contemporary Art and The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.  

He is survived by daughter, Jocelyn, his daughter-in-law, Charlotte, and grandchildren John Morris, James, Lily, Oliver, Benito, and Diego. 

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