Jack Macdonald, an elderly man known for cutting coupons and wearing holey sweaters, has left a staggering donation of $US188 million to three Seattle institutions.
The trust, the largest donation made in Washington state this year, went to Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington School of Law, and the Salvation Army, according to The Seattle Times.
Macdonald maintained an image of a man of little means. He frequently rode the bus and stocked up on bargain-priced food at the supermarket. Only a handful of people knew that he had amassed a fortune investing in the stock market over a 60-year period.
“He was amazing,” his stepdaughter, Regen Dennis, said to The Seattle Times. “He didn’t trust a lot of other people to do his research; he directed what he wanted bought, and he really knew what he wanted.”
Macdonald, who died in September at the age of 98, donated to many different causes throughout his lifetime, including an anonymous gift of $US150,000 to the Canadian town of Elora, where his father immigrated from Scotland.
This particular gift, however, is setting state and national records.
40 per cent of the $US188 million is going to Seattle Children’s, though Macdonald had no children of his own. It is the largest single gift ever made to pediatric research in the entire country.
Another 30% of the trust will go to the UW School of Law, the largest gift to the law school in history, and the largest estate gift to the university as a whole.
The remaining 30% will go the Salvation Army, which Macdonald chose because his father, Frederick, worked with many blue-collar workers.
“He felt really good about what he was doing with his money,” Dennis said, “and our family feels good about what he’s doing with his money.”
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