Richard and Sally Knuth set themselves an ambitious philanthropic goal a number of years ago: to donate $2 million in stock to support the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They are proud to have accomplished that remarkable achievement this year.
The couple’s generosity has roots in the mid-1980s, when Richard’s mother moved to Iowa to live with them after his father died.
“My parents had saved railroad retirement money, so I said to my mother, ‘Let’s invest,’” Richard says. “We bought a few thousand dollars in Exxon stock. It split two or three times. Sally and I paid taxes on the dividends. Meanwhile, it just went up and up.”
They invested in other publicly traded stock that also performed well.
“Somehow, we never took a loss,” Richard notes.
By the time his mother passed away in the early 1990s, the couple inherited a valuable portfolio. They moved from Iowa to Florida, seeking a more temperate climate, before relocating to Nevada in their retirement.
Richard’s mother was a big fan of the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who founded St. Jude. Once the couple learned more about the hospital, they decided there wasn’t a more deserving cause to support.
“St. Jude is doing good research and saving the lives of little children,” Richard says. “There’s no place else to compare it with.”
From Promise, Autumn 2017