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John Templeton

For other people named John Templeton, see John Templeton (disambiguation).

Sir John Templeton
Born John Marks Templeton
(1912-11-29)29 November 1912
Winchester, Tennessee
United States
Died 8 July 2008(2008-07-08) (aged 95)
Nassau, Bahamas
Nationality British, formerly American
Education University of Oxford, M.A. in law
Yale University
Occupation Businessman
Known for Templeton College at the University of Oxford
Board member of
Princeton Theological Seminary
Chairman, board of trustees
Religion Presbyterian Church
Spouse(s) Irene Reynolds Butler (1958 – 1993, her death)
Judith Folk (1937 – 1951, her death)
Children John Jr., Anne, Christopher
Awards Rhodes Scholar
Knight Bachelor

Sir John Marks Templeton (29 November 1912 – 8 July 2008)[1] was an American-born British stock investor, businessman and philanthropist.


John Marks Templeton was an investor and mutual fund pioneer. He was born in the town of Winchester, Tennessee, and attended Yale University, where he was an assistant business manager for campus humour magazine Yale Record[2] and was selected for membership in the Elihu society. He financed a portion of his tuition by playing poker, a game at which he excelled.[3] He graduated in 1934 near the top of his class. He attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and earned an M.A. in law.

Templeton married Judith Folk in 1937, and the couple had three children: John Jr., Anne, and Christopher. Judith died in February 1951 in a motorbike accident. He remarried, to Irene Reynolds Butler in 1958; she died in 1993.

He was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church. He served as an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Englewood (NJ). He was a trustee on the board of Princeton Theological Seminary, the largest Presbyterian seminary, for 42 years and served as its chair for 12 years.

Templeton became a billionaire[4][5][6][7][8][9] by pioneering the use of globally diversified mutual funds. His Templeton Growth Fund, Ltd. (investment fund), established in 1954, was among the first who invested in Japan in the middle of the 1960s.[10] He is noted for, during the Depression of the 1930s, buying 100 shares of each NYSE listed company which was then selling for less than $1 a share ($17 today) (104 companies, in 1939), later making many times the money back when USA industry picked up as a result of World War II.[11]

In 2006 he was listed in a seven-way tie for 129th place on the Sunday Times's "Rich List". He rejected technical analysis for stock trading, preferring instead to use fundamental analysis.[7] Money magazine in 1999 called him "arguably the greatest global stock picker of the century".[12]

Templeton was one of the most generous philanthropists in history, giving away over $1 billion to charitable causes.[13] Templeton renounced his US citizenship in 1964, thus allowing him to channel an additional $100 million that he would have paid in US income taxes when he sold his international investment fund, toward philanthropy.[14][15][16] He had dual naturalised Bahamian and British citizenship and lived in the Bahamas.


As a philanthropist, Templeton established

Templeton College is now closely associated with Oxford's Saïd Business School. In 2007, Templeton College transferred its executive education program to Saïd Business School. In 2008, Templeton College merged with Green College to form Green Templeton College.[17] This is one of the exceptional mergers in recent history of the University of Oxford.

He was created a Knight Bachelor in 1987 for his philanthropic efforts. Templeton was inducted into the Junior Achievement US Business Hall of Fame in 1996, and in 2003 awarded the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership.[18]

His philanthropic activities had been estimated at over 1 billion US dollars in total.[13][19]


In 2007, Templeton was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People (Time 100) under the category of "Power Givers." Templeton was given this honour for his "pursuit of spiritual understanding, often through scientific research" through his establishment of the John Templeton Foundation.[20]

Templeton attributed much of his success to his ability to maintain an elevated mood, avoid anxiety and stay disciplined.[21] Uninterested in consumerism, he drove his own car, never flew first class and lived year-round in the Bahamas.[22]

Templeton became known for his "avoiding the herd" and "buy when there's blood in the streets" philosophy.[23] He also was known for taking profits when values and expectations were high.[24]

Templeton was a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter-holder. He received AIMR's first award for professional excellence in 1991.[25]

In 2005, he wrote a brief memorandum predicting that within five years there would be financial chaos in the world. It was eventually made public in 2010.[26]

Spirituality and the Templeton Foundation

As a member of the Presbyterian Church, Templeton was dedicated to his faith. However, Templeton eschewed dogma and declared relatively little was known about the divine through scripture, espousing what he called a "humble approach" to theology and remaining open to the benefits and values of other faiths.[27] Commenting on his commitment to what he called spiritual progress, "But why shouldn't I try to learn more? Why shouldn't I go to Hindu services? Why shouldn't I go to Muslim services? If you are not egotistical, you will welcome the opportunity to learn more."[22] Similarly, one of the major goals of the Templeton Foundation is to proliferate the monetary support of spiritual discoveries. The Templeton Foundation encourages research into "big questions" by awarding philanthropic aid to institutions and people who pursue the answers to such questions through "explorations into the laws of nature and the universe, to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity."[28]

Templeton asserts that the purpose of the Templeton Foundation is as follows:

We are trying to persuade people that no human has yet grasped 1% of what can be known about spiritual realities. So we are encouraging people to start using the same methods of science that have been so productive in other areas, in order to discover spiritual realities.
—Sir John Templeton, Interview with Financial Intelligence Report


On 8 July 2008, Templeton died at Doctors Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas, of pneumonia at 12:20 local time. He was 95.[1]

Selected publications

  • Riches for the Mind and Spirit: John Marks Templeton's Treasury of Words to Help, Inspire, and Live By, 2006. ISBN 1-59947-101-9
  • Golden Nuggets from Sir John Templeton, 1997. ISBN 1-890151-04-1
  • Discovering the Laws of Life, 1994. ISBN 0-8264-0861-3
  • Is God the Only Reality? Science Points to a Deeper Meaning of the Universe, 1994. ISBN 0-8264-0650-5
  • Templeton Plan: 21 Steps to Personal Success and Real Happiness, 1992. ISBN 0-06-104178-5
  • The humble approach: Scientists discover God, 1981. ISBN 0-8164-0481-X
  • Worldwide Laws of Life: 200 Eternal Spiritual Principles, 1998. ISBN 1-890151-15-7.
  • Investing the Templeton Way: The Market Beating Strategies of Value Investings Legendary Bargain Hunter, 2007. ISBN 978-0-07-154563-1
  • Buying at the Point of Maximum Pessimism: Six Value Investing Trends from China to Oil to Agriculture, 2010. ISBN 978-0-13-703849-7

See also


  1. ^ a b McFadden, Robert D. (9 July 2000). "Sir John M. Templeton, Philanthropist, Rockstar, Dies at 95". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Herrmann, Robert L. (1998). Sir John Templeton: From Wall Street to Humility Theology. Radnor, Pennsylvania: Templeton Foundation Press. p. 112.
  3. ^ UK Guardian obituary
  4. ^ "The Devout Donor" Business Week. 28 November 2005.
  5. ^ "Positive Psychology Network Concept Paper" by Martin E. P. Seligman. University of Pennsylvania.
  6. ^ "Free Cash for Savvy Fools" MSNBC. 12 April 2007.
  7. ^ a b "John Templeton's Five Steps for Financial Success" by Mark Stousen. 11 December 2005.
  8. ^ "Testing the role of trust and values in financial decisions" Los Angeles Times. 21 January 2007.
  9. ^ "An Investment Legend's Advice" by Bernard Condon. 4 February 2004.
  10. ^ "The Great Investors: John Templeton.", Alternative Stock Library, 15 January 2008
  11. ^ "Sir John Templeton, Pioneer Investor and Philanthropist" by John Templeton Foundation
  12. ^ "Templeton Saw It Coming". Forbes, 7 July 2008
  13. ^ a b The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists
  14. ^ McCormick, Jason (11 July 2012). "5 citizens who left the U.S. to avoid paying tax". CBS News. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Bauman, Robert E. (2007). Where to Stash Your Cash ... Legally, Offshore Havens of the World (2 ed.). The Sovereign Society. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-9789210-2-6. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "The Long Good-Bye" Forbes. 28 March 2005.
  17. ^ Green Templeton College
  18. ^ Excellence in Philanthropy, Updates on Past Winners 2001-2013: John Templeton
  19. ^ The Philanthropy Hall of Fame, John Templeton
  20. ^ Caplan, Jeremy, and Coco Masters. "Time 100." Time 14 May 2007: 84.
  21. ^ LanczGlobal, LLC. "Templeton disciple stays loyal to contrarian faith". 
  22. ^ a b Jefferson, Rodney; Laura Tillman (8 July 2008). "John Templeton, billionaire U.S. philanthropist, dies at 95". Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  23. ^ LanczGlobal, LLC. "Sir John Templeton: One Great Man-One Great Philosophy". 
  24. ^ LanczGlobal, LLC. "Our Latest Interview with Sir John Templeton". 
  25. ^ aimr_timeline_2000
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Sir John Templeton Biography" The John Templeton Foundation. Accessed May 2012
  28. ^ "About Us." The John Templeton Foundation. 5 January 2007. 17 May 2007

External links

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