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William Johnson McDonald

William Johnson McDonald

American banker
William Johnson McDonald
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American banker
Was Financial professional Banker
From United States of America
Type Finance
Gender male
Birth 21 December 1844
Death 8 February 1926 (aged 81 years)
Star sign Sagittarius
The details


William Johnson McDonald (December 21, 1844 – February 8, 1926, though some sources give his date of death as February 6 ) was a Paris, Texas banker who left $850,000 (the bulk of his fortune) to the University of Texas System to endow an astronomical observatory.

The bequest was unexpected, and his will was contested, but after prolonged legal disputes the university received the money. At the time, the university had no faculty of astronomy, so in 1932 it formed a collaboration with Otto Struve at the University of Chicago, who supplied astronomers.

The McDonald Observatory is named after him, with Otto Struve becoming the first director.

McDonald was the eldest of the three sons of Sarah Johnson and Henry Graham McDonald of Paris, Texas. As a young man, he was a private in the Confederate Army. He became wealthy through his businesses as a lawyer and a banker, but remained frugal his entire life. He never married and had no children.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 29 Oct 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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