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For the congressman, see John Heritage Bryan.
John Henry Bryan, Jr. is the former CEO of the Sara Lee Corporation.

A graduate of Rhodes Collegemarker in Memphis, Tennesseemarker and Darden Graduate School of Business Administrationmarker, he is also affiliated with the French Legion of Honor, the World Economic Forum, and was a Member of the Board for Sara Lee, Goldman Sachs, General Motors, British Petroleum, and Bank One.

John H. Bryan is also a philanthropist and art collector. He serves as campaign chairs for two major civic improvements in Chicago – Millennium Parkmarker and the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. Estimates place the combined budget for these two capital projects at over a billion dollars.

As CEO of Sara Lee Corporation he administered a major gift of impressionist, post-impressionist and modern art to museums around the world. In a flourish of consistent brand obedience, the “Sara Lee Millennium Gift” consisted of major and underappreciated artworks collected by bakery and retail founder Nathan Cummings. The catalogue of this gift represents works by Renoir, Monet, Matisse, Rodin, Degas, Leger, Dufy, Moore and others from the period 1870 - 1970.

Bryan’s international charitable interests engage his family and the community and represent advice and support for museums, historic preservation advocates, performing arts groups & other non-profits. He seems to advocate for excellence in design and urban planning with an extensive personal collection ranging from Elizabethan furniture to Miesian furniture. There is a quantitative emphasis on the ‘Arts & Crafts’ and ‘Guild’ movements in the UK and US (1880 – 1920).

Known for a charming Southern cadence, Bryan was quoted by the Chicago Tribune in reference to the Millennium Park project – when asked how he got contributions for these vast projects he replied, “you just wrap them in a cloak of civic pride”.

Bryan currently resides in Lake Bluff, Illinoismarker on Crab Tree Farm. Since his purchase of the farm, Bryan has restored many of its structures back to 19th century standards using techniques and materials that were available at the time of their original construction.

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