Philanthropy-A Janitor Bequeaths Millions To A Hospital And A Library

Nobody had an idea that Ronald Read, a Vermont gas attendant and a janitor has been quietly investing in stocks. Before his death last year, he had build a fortune of $8 million. Perhaps the only clue that Ronald Read, a Vermont gas station attendant and janitor who died last year at age 92, had been quietly amassing an $8 million fortune was his habit of reading the Wall Street Journal, his friends and family say.

He was good at both stock investing and cutting wood. Last week, Brooks Memorial Library and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital each received their largest bequests ever. Read left $1.2 million to the library, founded in 1886, and $4.8 million to the hospital, founded in 1904.

His habit of reading the Wall Street Journal helped him in making the right stock investing decisions. What this illustrates is that stock investing is an art that can be learned by anyone who wants to learn it. Philanthropy is good for the society. Ronald Read must be well aware of the role that a good library and a good hospital plays in the society. So he bequeathed all his wealth to a library and a hospital.

Now Ronald Read was a poor man who had been living a frugal life and quietly investing in stocks. What about the people like Mark Zuckerberg who are rich, famous and young. It is being reported that Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have donated $75 million to a San Francisco Hospital.