John Marks Templeton, American born investor and philanthropist, dies at 95

July 9, 2008

Sir John Marks Templeton, American born investor and philanthropist, died July 8 at Doctors Hospital, Nassau, Bahamas, of pneumonia. He was 95. A naturalized British citizen, Templeton had lived in the Bahamas for many years.

As a young man Templeton studied at Yale and Oxford and began his career in finance on Wall Street during the Great Depression, moving on to a friend's oil company in Texas, and eventually being identified by Money magazine as "arguably the greatest global stock picker of the century."

A Presbyterian with an interest in all religions, Templeton was perhaps best known for the prize that bears his name. Its first recipient in 1973 was Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Since 1999, all the Templeton laureates have been leaders in the field of science and theology, including Anglican priests the Rev. Arthur Peacocke and the Rev. John Polkinghorne.

The Pennsylvania-based Templeton Foundation, with an endowment estimated at $1.5 billion, has also funded research projects and course development in science and theology.

Deacon Thomas Lindell, member of the Episcopal Church's Committee on Science, Technology and Faith and of the Society of Ordained Scientists, commented that like many bridging the disciplines, he had benefited in several ways from Templeton support, most recently from participation in a Templeton-funded four-year exploration of Astrobiology and the Sacred at the University of Arizona. Templeton was "in the granting business to support good science and good theology," said Lindell.

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