Sir John Marks Templeton: The Independent Institute

The Power of Independent Thinking

Sir John Marks Templeton
Sir John Marks Templeton

Sir John Marks Templeton (1912–2008) was born in rural Winchester, Tennessee. He received his A.B. from Yale University (1934) and his M.A. in law from Balliol College at Oxford University (1936), where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Internationally renowned for fifty years as the mutual fund pioneer and investment manager, he was decorated Knight Order of the British Empire (1987) and Knight of St. John (1995).

In 1972, Sir John created the annual Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion to recognize frontier thinking in religion that contributes to humanity. Past recipients have included Mother Tesesa of Calcutta, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, physicist Paul Davies, Michael Novak, Inamullah Kahn, Billy Graham, and Pandurang Shastri Athavale.

The founder of Templeton College of Management at Oxford University, he received honorary doctoral degrees from Babson College (L.L.D.), Beaver College (L.L.D.), Buena Vista College (D.C.L.), Campbell University (D.Litt.), Furman University (D.Litt.), Jamestown College (L.L.D.), Louisiana College (L.L.D.), Manhattan College (D.Litt.), Marquette University (L.L.D.), Maryville College (L.L.D.), Methodist College (L.L.D.), Moravian College (D.Litt. and L.L.D.), Rhodes College (L.L.D.), Southern College (L.H.D.), Stonehill College (Ph.D.), University of Dubuque (L.H.D.), University of Rochester (L.L.D.), University of the South (D.C.L.), University of Notre Dame (L.L.D.), and Wilson College (D.D.).

His many articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world, and he is the author of the books, The Humble Approach (1981), The Templeton Approach (1981), The Templeton Plan (with J. Ellison, 1987), Global Forecasting (with N. Berryessa and E. Kirzner, 1988), The God Who Would Be Known (with R. L. Hermann, 1989), Riches for the Mind and Spirit (1990), Looking Forward (1993), Discovering the Laws of Life (1994), Is God the Only Reality? (with R. L. Hermann, 1994), Evidence of Purpose (1994), Future Agenda (1995), and Worldwide Laws of Life (1997).

A chartered financial analyst, Sir John was Secretary-Treasurer and Vice President of the National Geophysical Company (1937–41); President of Templeton, Dobbrow & Vance, Inc. (1941–65); Chairman of Templeton, Damroth Corporation (1959–62); Vice President and Director of First Trust Bank, Ltd. (1963-present); President of Templeton Funds, Inc. (1977–86), Templeton Global Funds, Inc. (1981–1986), and Templeton Growth Fund Canada, Ltd. (1954–85); and Chairman of Templeton, Galbraith & Hansberger, Ltd. (1986–92). He is past President of the Lyford Cay (Bahamas) Property Owners Association, Trustee of Englewood Hospital, Balliol College Endowments, and Templeton Project Trust. He has been Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Princeton Theological Seminary, Trustee for the restoration of Westminster Abbey, and Trustee for Wilson College, Buena Vista College, the Templeton Foundation, and the Council on Theological Seminaries of the United Presbyterian Church. Sir John is a member of the Board of Visitors for Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions, and the Management Council of Templeton College (Oxford). He has been President of Templeton Theological Seminary, Honorary Rector of Dubuque University, and Chancellor of Florida Southern College.

He was the recipient of the Churchman of the Year Award (1979), International Churchman of the Year Award (1981), Ecumenical Patriarch’s Honorary Order of Mt. Athos, Free Enterprise Award from the Palm Beach Atlantic College (1984), Centennial Medal from the New York Mayflower Society (1987), USA Today Award for Excellence in Investment Management (1991), and the Benjamin Franklin Award from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufacture and Science (1994). He was further inducted into the Wall Street Hall of Fame (1990) and the National Business Hall of Fame for the Junior Achievement Association (1996).

Past President of the Chief Executives Organization (1968–69), Sir John was also a member of the Society of Security Analysts, World Presidents Organization, International Academy of Religious Sciences, Mt. Pelerin Society, Elihu Club, Elizabethan Club, Yale Club, University Club, Lyford Cay Club, Lansdowne Club, Royal Overseas League, Athenaeum, United Oxford and Cambridge Universities Club, White’s Club, Phi Beta Kappa, and Zeta Psi.