It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Jack Donahue, a longtime supporter of Heritage and one of the great Christian philanthropists of our time.
Jack enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 and, while serving, was accepted at West Point. He graduated there with pilot wings and went on to serve as an airplane commander in the Strategic Air Command.
He left the Air Force in 1950 and went to work at an investment company distributor in Pittsburgh. Five years later, he convinced two of his high school friends to join him in founding a new venture, Federated Investors. The firm pioneered offerings of money market funds and became tremendously successful. It currently has $362 billion in total assets under management.
“Jack was a tremendously successful businessman, but he centered his life around his faith and family,” noted Heritage President Ed Feulner. Donahue and his wife of more than 60 years, Rhodora, raised 13 children and have been surrounded by more than 80 grandchildren.
Strong believing Catholics, they established the Donahue Family Foundation, based in Pittsburgh, which focuses on supporting education and Roman Catholic organizations such as Catholic Charities, Prison Fellowship Ministries and Providence House.
The Donahues have received numerous awards, including the Becket Fund’s “Canterbury Medal,” given in recognition of their commitment to defending religious liberty.
“Jack was an all-American hero—a truly virtuous man who served his country, loved his God and his family, accomplished truly remarkable success, and gave back selflessly to strengthen civil society.” Feulner said. “We were honored when he agreed to serve as Honorary Chairman of Heritage’s Naples Committee, and we will keep him and his amazing family in our prayers.