The Businessmen

 

In 1963, Jack Dohony testified before the Baltimore City Council in favor of desegregating a local amusement park. When he arrived at work the next day, he was booed and spat at. That didn’t prevent him from continuing his work: soon his employer’s bathrooms and lunchrooms were desegregated.

As his Baltimore Sun obituary notes, he knew what was important: “John was gracious. He was always a gentleman. He used his talents for others.”

The amusement park no longer operates, but its carousel does. It’s now on the National Mall, which is where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Image result for smithsonian carousel
Smithsonian Carousel by RL Bolton (via Flickr)

 

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Once, a homeless woman in Harvard Square told him her life would be better if she had a red wagon to cart redeemable bottles. She burst into tears the next day when he showed up pulling a red wagon.

 

Tom White made a fortune in the construction industry, but died with this regret: “I didn’t have more money to give away.”

Mr. White helped found Partners in Health, a global public health charity. “No matter where he was,” a co-founder said, “every morning he would wake up and start his day thinking about the suffering of the poor.”

A family receives medical attention at one of PIH’s Port-au-Prince-based clinics after the 2010 earthquake, CJ Madson (via Wikipedia)

According to his Boston Globe obituary, Mr. White “set out to die as close to penniless as possible.” He got there at age 90, having given away over $75 million.