A fifth generation Washingtonian, John Hechinger attended Lehigh and Yale Universities and served in the United States Air Force in the China-Burma theatre in World War II. Until his retirement in 1996, he headed the former Hechinger Company, a 200+ hardware store chain founded by his father in 1911.
Over the years, Hechinger actively participated in numerous civic and philanthropic organizations, including the United Way Fund, the Washington Urban League, the Boys Club of Washington, and Columbia Hospital for Women. A strong civil rights advocate, he created a diverse workforce and was the first appointed chairman of Washington, DC’s City Council. He was also passionately involved in the handgun control movement and Business Executives for National Security. In seeking a posthumous home for his beloved collection, he chose IA&A because of its commitment to preserving the integrity and public access of the collection.
John Hechinger and his wife June Ross Hechinger gave his collection to International Arts & Artists in 2003. Mr. Hechinger died on his 84th birthday on January 18, 2004. Mrs. Hechinger died on October 14, 2015.