Anne Windfohr Marion

Anne Windfohr Marion (November 10, 1938 – February 11, 2020) was an American heiress, rancher, horse breeder, business executive, philanthropist, and art collector from Fort Worth, Texas. She served as the president of Burnett Ranches and the chairman of the Burnett Oil Company. She was the founder of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1981, she was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.[1]

Anne Windfohr Marion
Anne Valliant Burnett Hall

(1938-11-10)November 10, 1938
DiedFebruary 11, 2020(2020-02-11) (aged 81)
EducationHockaday School
Miss Porter's School
Briarcliff Junior College
OccupationRancher, horsebreeder, business executive, philanthropist, art collector
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)4, including John L. Marion
ChildrenAnne "Windi" Phillips Grimes
Parent(s)James Goodwin Hall
Anne Valliant Burnett Tandy
RelativesRobert Windfohr (stepfather and adoptive father)
Charles D. Tandy (stepfather)
Samuel Burk Burnett (maternal great-grandfather)
Thomas Lloyd Burnett (maternal grandfather)

Early lifeEdit

Anne Burnett grew up in Fort Worth, Texas.[2][3] Her father, James Goodwin Hall, was a stockbroker.[4][5] Her mother, Anne Valliant Burnett Tandy, was a rancher, horsebreeder, businesswoman and philanthropist.[3][4][5] After her parents divorced, she was adopted by her mother's third husband, Robert Windfohr, and took his name.[5] When her mother remarried for the fourth time, her stepfather became Charles D. Tandy, the founder of the Tandy Corporation.[4] Her maternal great-grandfather, Captain Samuel Burk Burnett, was a rancher.[6]

Known as 'Little Anne' informally, she was educated at the Hockaday School in Dallas and Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut.[4][7] She graduated from Briarcliff Junior College in Briarcliff Manor, New York.[4][5] She then attended the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas and the University of Geneva in Switzerland, where she studied art history.[7] She was presented as a debutante at The Assembly in Fort Worth.[7][8][9] She was elected as Duchess of Texas at the Texas Rose Festival in 1957 and Duchess of Fort Worth to the Court of Courts by the Order of the Alamo in 1959.[7]


She inherited four ranches spanning 275,000 acres in West Texas, and served as the president of the entity known as Burnett Ranches.[3][6][10] It includes the historic 6666 Ranch.[3][6] She purchased Dash For Cash, Special Effort and Streakin Six, all award-winning horses.[3] She also kept 160 broodmares.[3] She was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2007.[3]

In 1980, she established the Burnett Oil Company, headquartered at the Burnett Plaza in Fort Worth, Texas.[2][5][11] The company operates in several states.[12] It is a member of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce,[13] and she served as its chairman of the board.[4][5]

In 1983 she was worth $150 million, and in 1989 this had risen to $400 million. In 2006, she was worth US$1.3 billion.[2] She was on the Forbes 400 list until 2009, when she was worth US$1.1 billion.[10][14]


Marion served as president and trustee of the Anne Burnett and Charles D. Tandy Foundation.[4][5] It later became known as the Burnett Foundation. With a gift of $10 million from the foundation, she founded the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[3][15] In 2013, she donated the main donation for a $57 million new emergency center at the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.[16] It is named the Marion Emergency Care Center.[16]

She served on the boards of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, as well as the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.[3][5] She helped move the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame from Hereford, Texas to Fort Worth.[17] She selected members of the board of trustees alongside business executive Ed Bass.[17] She was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2005.[18]

She served as a member of the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System from 1981 to 1986.[3][5] She endowed a professorship at the Ranching Management School of Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth.[5] She also paid for the renovation and new elevator of the chancellor's box of the Amon G. Carter Stadium at TCU, where the chancellor conducts fundraising events for the university.[5] She was the recipient of the Charles Goodnight Award from TCU.[5] In 2001, she received the National Golden Spur Award from the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.[19][20]

In 2012, she was a donor to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

Marion was divorced three times. In 1961, she was married to William Wade Meeker, the son of Mrs. and Mr. Julian R. Meeker.[7] They had one daughter, Anne Windfohr Meeker (Windi).

Her second husband was Benjamin Franklin (B. F.) Phillips, a horseman; they owned several successful racehorses including Dash For Cash and Streakin Six. They married in 1969 and divorced in 1980. They raised one daughter, Anne "Windi" Phillips Grimes (born 1964), who married David M. Grimes II.[2][22]

Her third husband was James Rowland Sowell. They married in 1982 and divorced in 1987. [23]

She married her fourth husband, John L. Marion, at the Church of the Heavenly Rest on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City, in 1988.[4][5] The ceremony was performed by Reverend C. Hugh Hildesley.[4]

She lived in the Westover Hills neighborhood of Fort Worth, Texas, in a 19,000-square-foot modernist home on Shady Oaks Lane, designed for her mother by I. M. Pei in the 1960s. She owned secondary residences in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Indian Wells, California, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and an apartment at 820 Fifth Avenue, New York.[5][14] She enjoyed quail hunting on her Four Sixes Ranch.[5]

She died on February 11, 2020.[24]


  1. ^ "Hall of Great Westerners". National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Forbes 2006
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum: Anne Windfohr Marion Archived November 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Anne Windfohr Wed to John L. Marion, The New York Times, March 27, 1988
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Mary Rogers, Dancing Naked: Memorable Encounters with Unforgettable Texans, College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2008 [1]
  6. ^ a b c 6666 Ranch: A Family Legacy of Cattle, Horses and Oil
  7. ^ a b c d e They're Engaged!, San Antonio Express-News, April 16, 1961
  8. ^ [2], San Antonio Express-News, June 5, 1959
  9. ^ Lawrence R. Samuel, Rich: The Rise and Fall of American Wealth Culture, AMACOM, 2009, pp. 118-119 [3]
  10. ^ a b Peter J. Reilly, Ranch Heiress Shows IRS She Is Real Cowgirl, Forbes, May 27, 2014
  11. ^ Burnett Oil Company: About Burnett Oil Co., Inc.
  12. ^ Burnett Oil Company: Areas of Activity
  13. ^ Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce: Burnett Oil Company
  14. ^ a b Forbes 2009
  15. ^ Kathryn Jones, The Money of Color, Texas Monthly, September 1999
  16. ^ a b Betty Dillard, New emergency care center honors Fort Worth philanthropist Anne Marion , Fort Worth Business Press, June 4, 2013
  17. ^ a b Charles Moncrief, Wildcatters: The True Story of How Conspiracy, Greed, and the IRS Almost Destroyed a Legendary Texas Oil Family, New York City: Regnery Publishing, 2013, chapter 4 [4]
  18. ^ National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame: Anne W. Marion Archived October 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ National Ranching Heritage Center: National Golden Spur Award
  20. ^ John Davis, 6666 Ranch owner recipient of National Golden Spur Award, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, September 16, 2001
  21. ^ Anna M. Tinsley (November 12, 2014). "Texas donors pour $61 million into election". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved October 10, 2021. Romney has also received donations from... Fort Worth philanthropist Anne Marion, ...
  22. ^ Matt Potter (October 23, 2013). "Lone star big oil rover". San Diego Reader. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  23. ^ "Debutante party for Assembly debs given by Jim and Anne Sowell for their daughters at River Crest Country Club; from left, Jim Sowell with daughter Mary Sowell; Windi Phillips with mother Anne Windfohr Sowell, 12/29/1985". UTA Libraries. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  24. ^ "Anne Marion". American Quarter Horse Association. February 13, 2020. Retrieved October 10, 2021.