Seattle man leaves secret fortune to charity

Nov. 27, 2013 at 8:01 PM
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SEATTLE, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A man who by all appearances had no money, but left $187.6 million to several charities in Seattle when he died, was good at picking stocks, his family said.

Jack MacDonald, who died at age 98 in September, was known to most as a bargain hunter who wore shabby clothes and took buses instead of taxicabs. However, his family and close friends knew he had amassed millions of dollars, The Seattle Times reported Wednesday.

In his will, MacDonald left a $187.6 million charitable trust to Seattle Children's Research Institute, the University of Washington School of Law and the Salvation Army, the newspaper reported.

MacDonald, a native of British Columbia, worked as an attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs when it was called the Veterans Administration. He had made contributions to hundreds of charities -- including $536,000 to Seattle Children's -- the Times reported.

He also invested money his parents earned from their business, MacDonald Meat Co., and passed on to him.

His stepdaughter, Regen Dennis of Utah, said "he was amazing" at picking stocks.

"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," she said.

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