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Who was Sir John Marks Templeton? Part II

In 1941, after their first child, John Templeton, Jr., was born, John and Judith Templeton purchased their first home in a cash deal, a twelve-year old, three-bedroom house in Englewood, New Jersey for $5,000. Five years later, they purchased a fifty-year-old twelve-room house at 124 Chestnut Street for $17,000 and sold the first home for the same amount of money.

That second house would remain his principal residence until he and his partners sold Templeton, Dobbrow and Vance, Inc. to the Richardson family of North Carolina in 1959. In February of 1951, while they were on vacation in Bermuda, Mrs. Templeton suffered a motor cycle accident on a highway and died in the hospital of her injuries.

During a hurricane season, Templeton purchased a summer house on Fishers Island in Long Island Sound for $18,000. The children spent six summers there with servants.

He would fly in to join them on weekends. His children would later sell the residence for $630,000.

In 1954, Templeton founded the Templeton Growth Fund, a mutual fund. According to the Templeton Foundation, “With dividends reinvested, each $10,000 invested in the Templeton Growth Fund Class A at its inception would have grown to $2 million by 1992, when he sold the family of Templeton Funds to the Franklin Group.”

In 1956, Templeton co-founded the Nucleonics, Chemistry, and Electronics Fund with marketing consultant William Damroth. Templeton married his second wife, Irene Reynolds Butler, in 1958.

The next year, Templeton sold his consultancy firm to an insurance company owned by the Richardsons. This was the Piedmont Company. He sold his ownership stake in the Nucleonics, Chemistry, and Electronics Fund in 1962.

Templeton renounced his American citizenship in 1964. He moved to Lyford Cay in the Bahamas, which became his primary residence, in 1968. Templeton soon acquired dual British-Bahamian citizenship.

In 1972, Templeton established the Templeton Prize. The first recipient of the Templeton Prize was Mother Theresa in 1973. The monetary portion of the Templeton Prize always exceeds the Nobel Prize and is currently £1,000,000 sterling ($1,800,000).

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh agreed to annually present the Templeton Prize, and did so through 2011. Since then, Dr. John M. Templeton, Junior, the Chairman and President of the Templeton Foundation, presented the Dalai Lama with the 2012 Templeton Prize; his daughter Heather Templeton Dill presented Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the 2013 Templeton Prize; and Dr. Templeton presented Monsignor Tomáš Halík with the 2014 Templeton Prize.

By 1974, the Templeton Growth Fund had $13,000,000 in assets under management. That same year, John Galbraith joined the staff. An account who had formerly worked for Templeton at Templeton, Dobbrow and Vance, Inc. not to be confused with the famous economist John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006), he approached Templeton about working for him again when the Piedmont Company moved west.

Galbraith when to Lyford Cay to present a plan to open a network of brokers and dealers across the U.S.A. Within four years, the Templeton Growth Fund had $100,000,000 in assets under management.

Galbraith believed strongly that the Templeton Growth Fund would grow rapidly if Templeton did more than rely on word of mouth to attract investors and proved his point. Under his plan, if Galbraith succeeded in multiplying the assets under management tenfold in ten years, he would purchase management of it from Templeton, paying for it in three years. However, if he failed, Templeton would retain ownership and owe Galbraith nothing, as Templeton’s biographer, Professor Robert L. Herrmann, explained in Sir John Templeton: Supporting Scientific Research for Spiritual Discoveries.

In 1978, at Galbraith’s suggestion, Templeton established the Templeton World Fund. That same year, Templeton also brought in another future partner, Tom Hansberger, who helped him manage the Templeton Growth Fund, from an office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In 1984, he made a commitment to donate $5,000,000 to the Oxford Center for Management Studies over a five-year-long period. This came on top of earlier donations that also amounted to $5,000,000.

This second donation and an agreement by the University of Oxford to allow the matriculation of twelve graduate students allowed the Oxford Center for Management Studies to transform into Templeton College, a constituent college of the University of Oxford that in 2008 merged with Green College to form Green Templeton College, Oxford’s newest constituent college.

Green Templeton College (G.T.C.) is a graduate college. G.T.C. states it “has a distinctive academic profile, specialising in subjects relating to human welfare and social, economic and environmental well-being in the 21st century, including medical sciences, management, and a broad range of social sciences, including education, environmental sciences and social policy.”

A Presbyterian elder, Sir John Marks Templeton served as a trustee of the Princeton Theological Seminary, the largest of ten Presbyterian seminaries in the United States, for forty-two years. He served as chairman for twelve years. While in the Bahamas, he founded the Templeton Theological Seminary.

In 1986, John Templeton’s asset management operation in Lyford Cay and John Galbraith’s marketing operation (then located in St. Petersburg, Florida) merged to form Templeton, Galbraith and Hansberger, Ltd. Six years later, Mark Holowesko, whom Templeton had hired in 1985, became Chief Investment Officer of Templeton Worldwide, Inc.

That same year, 1992, Templeton, Galbraith & Hansberger had $22,000,000,000 in assets under management. Later that year, the Franklin Group, Inc. based in San Mateo, California purchased Templeton, Galbraith & Hansberger for $913,000,000, of which Templeton received $440,000,000.