Every mother dreams of raising a son who grows up to be hugely successful and filthy rich. One Indiana mom did exactly that. Only, she had no idea about it. It wasn't that she and her son, businessman David Gundlach, weren't close. In fact, he spent the last years of his life, before he died of a heart attack at 56, regularly visiting his mom in his hometown of Elkhart, Indiana. It just that he decided to keep his finances -- which amounted to $113 million in the bank, several homes, cars, and every other thing you can imagine -- to himself. And apparently mom never got nosy. Never asked how he could afford 11 homes and 15 cars. Never asked how his mansions were so big that one them was next door to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Not even the private jet he took her on seemed to clue her in. His mom, the complete opposite of a busybody, said: "I knew he was taking care of himself and not borrowing from me, but I had no idea he was that successful."
David Gundlach's mom, 94-year-old Marjorie Smith, was heartbroken when her son died so young -- and then astonished to learn that his vast fortune was left to her town of Elkhart, Indiana. The entire thing!
No word on whether mom was peeved that more wasn't left to her, but my guess is that at 94-years-old, she's set for life anyway.
Gundlach, who hung with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Bill Murray, preferred to spend his last years in his hometown, reacquainting himself with high school friends and people who'd never left the small town. Apparently being there gave him so much comfort that he decided he would leave his entire fortune, valued at $150 million, to it. Of course, he had no idea he was only a few years from death.
The town spent a year polling all of its residents on how they'd like to disperse the cash, and amazing they didn't erupt into fistfights about it. The most popular choices were progams that would benefit people with Alzheimer’s, abandoned pets, neighborhood blight, and education for children.
If you're thinking of moving, Elkhart might be the place. Because this is one town that isn't going to lack for anything for quite awhile!
And kudos to Ms. Smith for minding her own business. More mothers should do the same.
Would you not know if your kid is this rich?