In Memoriam


Dr. John Marks Templeton, Jr.

Who Led Foundation, Dies at 75

By: The Associated Press May 10 2015


John M. Templeton Jr., a former pediatric surgeon who was president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation, died on Saturday at his home in Bryn Mawr, Pa. He was 75.

The foundation, based in West Conshohocken, Pa., announced his death on Tuesday, saying the cause was cancer. Dr. Templeton retired from medicine in 1995 to manage the foundation and became its top executive after the death, in 2008, of his father, Sir John Templeton, who created the Templeton Fund in 1954 and the foundation in 1987. Under Dr. Templeton, the foundation’s endowment grew to $3.34 billion from $28 million.

The foundation awards grants, mainly to universities and scholars, and gives an annual $1.7 million Templeton Prize to honor, in its words, a person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery or practical works.

This year’s prize went to Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers.

John Marks Templeton Jr. was born on Feb. 19, 1940, in New York City. A graduate of Yale, he earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He trained in pediatric surgery under Dr. C. Everett Koop at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Koop was later the surgeon general of the United States.

After serving two years in the Navy, Dr. Templeton returned in 1977 to Children’s Hospital, where he was a pediatric surgeon and the trauma program director. He also taught at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to papers published in medical journals, he wrote two books, “Thrift and Generosity: The Joy of Giving” (2004), and “A Searcher’s Life” (2008).

He is survived by his wife, Pina, who retired from Children’s Hospital in 1999; their daughters, Heather Templeton Dill and Jennifer Simpson; six grandchildren; and a brother, Christopher. His sister, Anne Templeton Zimmerman, died in 2004.