George and Dolores Eccles were one of Utah’s most philanthropic couples whose personal generosity and involvement enriched the lives of others. Their profound impact for good is still felt throughout the state and region through grants from their foundation meeting healthcare, educational, and humanitarian needs while also fostering the arts, culture, and historic and environmental preservation.
As chief executive officer of First Security Corporation from 1945 to 1982, George was a civic leader, community benefactor, and leading figure in Utah’s banking industry. Dolores, affectionately known as “Lolie,” was an active volunteer and a gracious friend to people in all walks of life. While they had no children of their own, they cared deeply for their extended family, supporting community causes of many kinds with generosity and enthusiasm.
Born in 1900 in Logan, Utah, George was the sixth of nine children of pioneer Utah industrialist David Eccles and Ellen Stoddard Eccles. He graduated from Columbia University in New York City, where he met fellow student Dolores Doré, a “Texas Belle.” They married in 1925.
After George began his banking career in New York, the couple returned to Utah in 1928 where George joined his brother Marriner in the leadership of the newly formed First Security Corporation. George became chair and chief executive officer of First Security in 1934, overseeing the growth of the banking empire for nearly four decades. At the time of its merger with Wells Fargo in 2000, First Security still held the distinction of being the oldest multi-state bank holding company in the nation.
George and Lolie established the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation in 1958. George directed its grant-making until his death in 1982, and Lolie continued to participate actively in its work until her death in 1994 at age 91. Today, the foundation is directed by board members Spencer F. Eccles, Lisa Eccles, and Robert M. Graham. During the past decade alone, its grants to benefit Utah citizens and communities have exceeded $280 million.
The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Outpatient Care Center at Intermountain Medical Center is a six-story, 200,000 square-foot facility, the largest of its kind in the Intermountain West. The facility includes an outpatient clinic, laboratory, pharmacy, and surgery center with six operating rooms, all equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging capabilities.
“Recognizing the importance of this hospital to the health and well-being of citizens of the entire Intermountain Region, we are very proud to join with others in being a part of this development,” says Spencer Eccles. “We are confident our founders, George and Dolores Eccles, would be gratified to be associated with this world-class facility that will improve the quality of life for the people of Utah for decades to come.”