USA TODAY - An elderly man who had holes in his clothes and took
buses instead of taxis has amazed Seattle Children's Research Institute
with what it says is the biggest gift ever earmarked for pediatric
research - in the entire U.S.
The hospital's research center will receive the largest portion of a
$188 million charitable trust left by Jack MacDonald, who died at the
age of 98 after decades of secret philanthropy, reports the Seattle
Only a select few family and friends knew that the bargain-hunting man
who lived simply in a retirement home had spent more than 60 years using
his incredible skill for picking stocks to turn the nest egg his
parents left him into a huge legacy for charity.
The trust will also benefit the University of Washington School of
Law and the Salvation Army.
MacDonald, who served in the South Pacific in World War II before
spending 30 years as an attorney for the Veterans Administration,
supported hundreds of other causes with donations while he was alive,
including $536,000 to the Canadian village his grandfather moved to from
The president of the Seattle Children's Foundation describes
MacDonald as a humble, understated man who regularly visited the
hospital and sympathized with the patients and their families.
"He was drawn to the patient stories," he says. "There was a lot of hope in those stories, and that really resonated with him."
It's not the only fortune to make the news this week: A $7.5 million fortune is buried in a Welsh landfill.
(Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY)