- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 4, 2001

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) In the eyes of his family, friends and business associates, Theodore "Ted" Ammon was a successful investment banker, loving father and generous benefactor of the arts and education.
So nearly two weeks after he was found brutally bludgeoned in his vacation home on eastern Long Island, the question remains: Who wanted Ted Ammon dead?
"Even though he was very successful in the competitive world of business, he managed to face each day with the enthusiasm of a Little Leaguer on game day," said trumpeter and friend Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, where Ammon served as chairman.
So far, police have been tight-lipped about the investigation. Suffolk County Lt. John Gierasch, head of the homicide squad, would not discuss developments in the case.
The body was found Oct. 22 by a business associate who went to Mr. Ammon's rambling, multimillion-dollar East Hampton home after Mr. Ammon missed a meeting and failed to make arrangements to have his two children picked up from school.
Mr. Ammon, 6-foot-4 and athletically built, had been beaten on the head with a blunt object, according to an autopsy, which also found he had been dead for at least several hours.
Police said they found no obvious signs of a break-in or a theft at the six-bedroom house that sits a block from the Atlantic Ocean. Neighbors include Jerry Seinfeld and "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels.
Among that crowd, Mr. Ammon, 52, did not stand out.
"Like a lot of enormously wealthy people who come out here, he preferred to live anonymously and quietly," said writer Steven Gaines, author of "Philistines at the Hedgerow," subtitled "Passion and Property in the Hamptons."
Court records show Mr. Ammon had been involved in two disputes.
He was embroiled in what was described as a "very difficult" divorce with his wife, Generosa, with whom he had adopted 11-year-old twins. He also was sued recently by two former employees who claimed they were owed millions in back pay, bonus money and securities.
Mr. Ammon, a former general partner at the investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., had a reported personal worth of $100 million. At the time of his death, he ran the private equity firm of Chancery Lane Capital in Manhattan.
Generosa Ammon said she was "deeply distressed" by news reports describing the couple's divorce.
"It is true that at the time of my husband's death, under its terrible circumstance, we had been embroiled in a very difficult matrimonial proceeding," she said. "However, I believe the most important consideration now is that our children be protected from things being said about their parents."
A few days before Mr. Ammon's death, former employees Steven Guderian and Bruce Riedner filed their lawsuit, saying their trouble with their former employer started after Mr. Ammon moved his family from England back to New York in 2000.
Mr. Riedner and Mr. Guderian claim they stayed behind for six months to wrap up the family's affairs but were not reimbursed for expenses that included fees for nannies, housekeepers, guards and children's tennis lessons.
They also claimed they were owed a "residential property" and $2 million in cash or securities that Mr. Ammon and his wife promised them for agreeing to move to England in 1999.
Their lawyer, Ira Tokayer, declined to comment beyond the court papers.
Mr. Ammon, a 1971 graduate of Bucknell University, gave $15 million to his alma mater in 1996 and enticed others to donate to the school, eventually helping to collect $52 million, said Bucknell President Steffen H. Rogers.
At the time, his donation was anonymous. "He shied away from stepping out into the spotlight," Mr. Rogers said. "He wanted to make a difference, but his generosity wasn't a put-on. He loved the students."
Mr. Rogers said he had spoken with Mr. Ammon two weeks before his death.
"He was upbeat and laughing," he said. "He was a little concerned about the stock market, but overall I'd say he was excited for the future."


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