Remembering Fred Sharf

Fred SharfFrederic “Fred” A. Sharf (1934-2017) was a visionary leader, generous benefactor, and cherished friend of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). As a devoted supporter, he served the hospital in a variety of capacities that brought about lasting change for our patients and their loved ones.

For many years, Fred served on several BWH boards and committees. He was a founding member of the BWH Trust Board, served on the BluePrint Steering Committee and the Campaign Cabinet Steering Committee for the Great Medicine in the Making campaign and, since 2012, was a member of the President’s Advisory Board. Together with his wife, Jean, he supported many critical areas at BWH. In 2001, they named the Sharf Admitting Center, and in 2015, they were inducted into the hospital’s prestigious Luminary Society, which honors benefactors who have made lifetime gifts of $1 million or more to advance the work of the hospital. They were both perennial attendees at the hospital’s annual celebratory dinners in Palm Beach.

Fred’s defining contribution to BWH was his support and oversight of several art installations. An art collector, scholar, and author, he shared his artistic expertise with the Brigham community, lending pieces from his personal collection and providing philanthropic support for special exhibitions that made art accessible to patients, their families, and hospital faculty and staff. One of the most striking installations is a rotating art exhibit of fashion drawings by famous illustrators featured in the Sharf Admitting Center. He and Jean also funded The Frederic S. and Jean S. Sharf History Wall, which was displayed along the hospital’s central Pike from 2010 to 2016. The exhibit shared the rich story of BWH through historic photographs, graphics, and text organized around various themes, including hospital origins, evolving campus, and nursing excellence.

In 2013, as part of BWH’s BluePrint Celebration to commemorate its centennial, Fred proposed and funded a special exhibit of nursing uniforms to interest and engage patients, family members, clinicians, and other visitors to the hospital. The exhibit highlighted historic nursing attire from the first six decades of the 20th century, including nurse uniforms from the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and the Peter Bent Brigham School of Nursing, among others.

To honor Fred’s legacy and his innumerable contributions to the Brigham family, we invite his family and friends to make a gift in his name to support and advance the work of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.