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Legendary Investor Sir John Templeton Dies at 95

Tuesday, 08 Jul 2008 11:36 AM

By Kenneth D. Williams

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BOSTON -- John Templeton, a pioneering mutual fund manager who later gave much of his personal wealth away through his foundation, died of pneumonia at age 95, an official at his foundation said Tuesday.

The International Herald Tribune reports that Templeton died Tuesday at Doctors Hospital in Nassau, the Bahamian city that was his home, his spokesman Don Lehr said in a statement.

The Templeton Growth Fund was one of the first mutual funds to give Americans access to investments in companies abroad. Since it was founded in 1954, the fund has returned about 14.5 percent a year on average.

Like Warren Buffett, Templeton developed a cult following, with fund investors flocking to annual meetings to hear his pronouncements. Money magazine in 1999 called him "arguably the greatest global stock picker of the century."

Templeton was knighted in 1987 for his philanthropic accomplishments, and in the same year, he created the John Templeton Foundation to encourage scientific research. The foundation has an estimated endowment of $1.5 billion and awards some $70 million in annual grants.

The Canadian Press reports he is survived by two sons, a stepdaughter, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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