Templeton, Sir John

Templeton, Sir John (Marks)

(1912–  ) investment counselor, philanthropist; born in Winchester, Tenn. After graduating from Yale, he went as a Rhodes Scholar to Balliol College, Oxford. He became an executive with a petroleum prospecting firm, the National Geophysical Company of Dallas and New York (1937–40), and formed his own investment house, Templeton, Dobbrow and Vance, Inc. (1940–65); he then established Templeton Growth Fund, and in ensuing years, several other large international investment funds. Having made a large fortune, he increasingly gave his money and energies to various worthwhile organizations and causes. Originally a Presbyterian, he became especially interested in promoting ecumenical dialogue among all the world's religions; in addition to donating money and support to various religious institutions, in 1972 he initiated the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, regarded as the Nobel Prize for those who have contributed the most to religious life. In addition to many articles in financial and religious journals, he wrote several books, including The Humble Approach (1982) and Riches for the Mind and Spirit (1990). In 1987 he accepted a British knighthood, and he made the Bahamas his legal residence.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.