5 Things to Know About Philanthropist George Peabody

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Philanthropist George Peabody was a banker and patron of education initiatives whose generosity made him known as the “father of modern philanthropy.”

Today, on the anniversary of his reception of the Congressional Gold Medal in 1867 for charitable work, Google honors Peabody with a special Doodle.

Here’ what you should know about the famous philanthropist:

George Peabody
Engraving From 1873 Featuring The American Businessman And Philanthropist, George Peabody. Peabody Lived From 1795 Until 1869.traveler1116—Getty Images

5 Things to Know About George Peabody

  • Despite being born into a poor family in Massachusetts in 1795 and having little education, Peabody went on to accumulate an extravagant fortune as a trade financier in London.
  • Thrifty in his habits but magnanimous with his donations, Peabody endowed dozens of educational institutions and libraries in the U.S.
  • The Peabody Trust is still one of the largest housing organizations in the U.K.
  • Peabody, who never married, is remembered today by numerous schools and institutes.
  • Peabody’s hometown changed its name from South Danvers to Peabody a year before his death in 1869.
  • Today’s Google Doodle was created by a volunteer team mural project at George Peabody Elementary School in San Francisco. Watch it come together in the video below:

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    Write to Eli Meixler at eli.meixler@time.com