How Quiet Donors Became Champions for Black Giving
One of financier Eddie Brown’s biggest regrets in life is never having thanked the donor who paid for his university education. That education, funded by a wealthy woman from Allentown, Pa., led to his early career as an engineer designing computer circuits for IBM’s huge mainframe computers in the 1960s. He later became a top money manager and founder of an $8 billion investment firm.
Brown, who grew up poor in the segregated South, says he didn’t know enough in his youth to thank the woman who funded his four years at Howard University, and by the time he realized his mistake, he could no longer find her. His deep regret is one of the reasons he and his wife, Sylvia, have made philanthropy a cornerstone of their nearly 57 years of marriage.
"That basically put a fire under me and under us to help people as our way of basically thanking that lady," says Eddie Brown. "That’s why education, especially for underprivileged kids, is high on the priority list."
To date, the couple has given more than $39.5 million both personally and through their Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Family Foundation (run by the Baltimore Community Foundation) to education, the arts, and health care primarily in the Greater Baltimore area, where they have lived for more than 40 years.
Source: The Chronical of Philanthropy