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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Anne C. Heller ’73

Anne Conover Heller, whose brilliance, grace, and unique style guided every moment of her life, died of cancer on October 10, with her beloved husband, David de Weese, at her side. Anne was 71. Born in Maryland, Anne grew up in New Jersey and attended Antioch College, where she became managing editor of the Antioch Review. After graduating she moved to New York, found a ground-floor apartment with a paved back yard on the Upper West Side and began a successful career in magazines–as a fiction editor at Esquire and Redbook, features editor at Lear’s, and executive editor of the magazine development group at Conde Nast. Anne liked strays. Stray dogs, stray humans, stray thoughts. She favored long loose dresses and skirts, blouses that slipped off a shoulder. She loved Wallace Stevens, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Camel cigarettes. Had Anne lived in another era, she would have been called “bohemian.” After Anne and David married, she moved across town to the surprise of her most provincial West Side friends. There she wrote the seminal biography of Ayn Rand, a New York Times “notable book,” which was followed by the critically acclaimed Hannah Arendt: A Life in Dark Times. She threw herself into biographers’ groups such as the Leon Levy Center at CUNY and organizations that supported the formerly incarcerated. Although Anne didn’t seek the limelight, she was impossible to overlook– brainy, generous, kind, and with an elegance that was all her own. She is survived by many many friends from all corners of life, her dear sister Peggy, and David, her devoted husband.