The Illiinois billonaire giving away his fortune

Ash Jurberg

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In 2021, Illinois resident Jack Schuler was a billionaire. When Forbes recently released their annual list of billionaires, Schuler was no longer on the list.

The reason? In 2021 he promised to give away his fortune and has started doing so.

Let's take a look at the Illinois billionaire giving away his fortune.

The Illinois billionaire giving away his fortune

Jack Schuler was born in 1940 in Wisconsin, the son of an immigrant. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business Administration.

Schuler spent over 30 years working in the pharmaceutical industry before retiring in 1989 and investing in healthcare companies.

His expertise in the industry, combined with his shrewd investments, led to Schuler accumulating a billion-dollar fortune.

And then he promised to give it all away.

The Giving Pledge

He co-founded the Schuler Scholar Program in 2001. This program helps immigrants, low-income, and students of color succeed in high school and apply to college. He has donated over $100 million to this program which has assisted over 1600 students in Chicago with their education.

In 2001, I decided to create the Schuler Education Foundation with the goal of doing our part to level the playing field for underserved kids in the Chicago area to gain access to highly selective liberal arts colleges. Through the foundation, we created the Schuler Scholar Program to equip bright, motivated high school students with the support they need to get into and succeed at highly selective colleges and beyond. Currently we are partnered with 15 Chicago and Milwaukee area high schools with a staff of 146, and have served more than 1,600 first generation, underrepresented students.

Last year, Schuler decided he should give away more of his wealth. So he signed the Giving Pledge, in which he promised to give away most of his fortune while he was still alive.

I was pleased my three children – Tino, Tanya, and Tess – along with Renate, my wife of 50+ years, agreed that I should give 100% of my wealth to the foundation.

Schuler also announced a further $500 million contribution from his foundation to be invested in education. The Initiative will include up to 20 liberal arts colleges.

Readers, what do you think of Jack Schuler's commitment to philanthropy? Are there any other Illinois organizations that you believe he should contribute to?

Please leave your comments below.

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