John Koprowski, Ford Comptroller and Actor and Singer, Dies
Funeral services were held December 20 in New York City for John Koprowski, a former comptroller of the Ford Foundation who developed a productive career in theater and cabaret after leaving Ford.
Mr. Koprowski died December 15 at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He underwent heart surgery in June and never fully recovered.
He began his career as an accountant, having earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Peter’s College and a master’s in economics from New York University. He worked for 12 years for the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn as its vice president for accounting and information systems before joining Ford in 1982.
He was comptroller until 1984, when he became treasurer and director of financial services. He resigned from the Foundation in 1993, though he worked for Ford as a consultant for the next four years through a firm he established, John J. Koprowski & Associates. His firm worked exclusively in the non-profit sector, providing services for civil and human rights organizations, arts organizations, policy and advocacy groups, membership organizations and international capacity building groups.
His love for and work in the theater went back many years, including while he was at Ford, and he pursued that passion full time after leaving the Foundation.
He produced and performed in four cabaret shows, appearing at many clubs in the New York City area. As an actor, he belonged to the award-winning Blue Coyote Theatre Company and co-produced and appeared in shows with Without Papers Productions, a company he co-founded. He appeared in several independent films, including The Third Testament, which has been shown at several festivals.
He was treasurer of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC), treasurer of the board of the Singers Forum and a member of the board of the Astoria Performing Arts Center.
He had “a rich and productive career as a mainstay of key organizations in the community development, philanthropic and arts and entertainment sectors,” said Shep Forman, president of The LAFF Society and a colleague of his at the Foundation. “Those of us who had the pleasure of working with John recall a warm, exuberant and joyful colleague, who delightfully moonlighted as an actor and cabaret performer.”