The Heritage Center > About > Sir John Templeton

Sir John Templeton

Investor and Philanthropist 1912-2008

sir-templetonBorn on November 29, 1912, in the small town of Winchester, Tennessee, John Templeton attended Yale University during the Depression. He graduated in 1934 near the top of his class and as president of Phi Beta Kappa. He was named a Rhodes Scholar to Balliol College at Oxford, from which he graduated with a law degree in 1936.

Templeton started his Wall Street career in 1938 and went on to create one of the largest and most successful international investment funds. However, his interests extended far beyond finances. An unfailing optimist, a believer in progress and a relentless questioner and contrarian, he devoted the second half of his long life to promoting the discovery of what he called “new spiritual information.”

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Friend of the Union League

A frequent visitor to The Union League of Philadelphia, Sir John had many colleagues and friends who were League members. In 1998 he received the Union League’s Lincoln Award. His acceptance speech outlined the incredible benefits that the United States—and the world—had experienced as an outgrowth of the entrepreneurial spirit created by the free-market system. “Multiplying Multitudes of Blessings” became one of Sir John’s signature speeches, which he delivered many times throughout the rest of his life. Sir John’s death in 2008, at age 95, was noted around the world with tributes acknowledging the extraordinary breadth of his career and vision. For more about the life and legacy of Sir John Templeton, visit www.templeton.org

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Sir John Templeton Life Milestones

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1912

John Marks Templeton was born on November 29, 1912, in the small town of Winchester, Tennessee.

1938-2

1938

Templeton started his Wall Street career in 1938 and went on to create some of the world's largest and most successful international investment funds.

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1954

Templeton entered the mutual fund industry in 1954, when he established the Templeton Growth Fund.

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1972

He established the world's largest annual award given to an individual, the Templeton Prize, which honors a living person who has made an exemplary contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.

1987

1987

Templeton contributed a sizable amount of his assets to the John Templeton Foundation. That same year, he was created a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II for his many philanthropic accomplishments.

2008

2008

Sir John 's death, at age 95, was noted around the world, with tributes that acknowledged the extraordinary breadth of his career and his vision. In an obituary titled "Maximum Optimist," the Wall Street Journal wrote: “As an investor, he always had confidence his picks would improve over the long term. Appropriately, the same ‘enthusiasm for progress,’ as he put it, also made him one of the world's great philanthropists.”