About Dorothy Priscilla "Patsy" Collins (Bullitt)
Dorothy Priscilla ("Patsy") Bullitt Collins was a Seattle philanthropist. Born in Seattle on September 24, 1920 to the wealthy A. Scott Bullitt and Dorothy Bullitt, during her childhood she lived in a 23-room mansion in The Highlands. She graduated from Vassar College in 1942.
She married Josiah Collins VI, son of United States Senator Josiah Collins, in 1947. Her first husband, Larry Norman, a USAAF navigator, had been killed over Germany or as a POW in 1943.
She was chairperson of King Broadcasting Company, founded by her mother, from 1972 until 1992 when it was sold to The Providence Journal.
After her parents' death, she and her sisters donated $100 million to the Bullitt Foundation for environmental causes, bought classical radio station KING-FM and donated it to the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera and what is now ArtsFund.
She died at her home in First Hill, Seattle, on June 24, 2003. She bequeathed a final $71.5 million to CARE, The Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land, among the top 20 largest American charitable donations of the year.
Priscilla “Patsy” Bullitt Collins was Scott and Dorothy Bullitt’s middle daughter. As soon as she reached the age of 21, she exercised control of her own affairs by writing a check for $1,000 to Children’s Orthopedic Hospital (later Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center).
During World War II, she worked for the American Red Cross and served overseas in the Philippines and in Japan. Her tour in Japan took her through the remains of Hiroshima, which helped solidify her liberal and antiwar views. Known for “adding zest” to every project she touched, Patsy has an extensive record of civic involvement. Beneficiaries of her efforts include several historic landmarks, low-income housing projects, classical music, various conservation endeavors, the Garden of Remembrance at Benaroya Hall, and the YMCA.
When she heard in 1986 that her grandparents’ former home on First Hill, the Stimson-Green Mansion, was to be converted to law offices, she bought it. She wanted to preserve the 10,000-square-foot house, in memory of her mother, but also to preserve some of Seattle’s architectural heritage. Collins started a catering company to maintain the house and to use it as a venue for celebrations.
When Dorothy Bullitt died in 1989, Patsy and Harriett inherited King Broadcasting. They sold the business in 1991 and together with their brother Stim, contributed millions of dollars toward the Bullitt Foundation’s $100 million endowment, which benefits environmental and educational causes. She gave $3 million to the Seattle Public Library Foundation, $1 million to the Puget Sound Environmental Learning Center on Bainbridge Island (now known as IslandWood), $800,000 to the Cascades Conservation Partnership to preserve a four-mile stretch of shoreline along the Yakima River, and $240,000 to help build schools in Afghanistan and Iraq. Patsy Collins died in 2003.