Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Secret Millionaire Leaves $188M Charitable Trust


Jack MacDonald was a modest Seattle lawyer who worked for the Veterans Administration for nearly 30 years.  When he died in September at age 98, no one suspected that he would be leaving behind the largest charitable gift made this year in the state of Washington.

By investing his savings and an inheritance, MacDonald amassed enough money to fund a $187.6 million charitable trust.  The money will go to the Salvation Army, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and his alma mater, the University of Washington School of Law.  This will be the largest charitable gift ever to support pediatric research and the largest ever made to the University of Washington. 

See Martha Neil, Longtime Government Lawyer Left $188M Charitable Trust, Including Record Gift to His Law School, ABA Journal, Nov. 26, 2013; see also Rob Quinn, Frugal Seattle Man Leaves $188M Secret Fortune, USA Today, Nov. 29, 2013.

Special thanks to Laura Galvan (Attorney, San Antonio, Texas) for bringing this article to my attention.  


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