Paul Mellon: Billionaire Philanthropist

The man was the grandson of the great Thomas Mellon, founder of the Mellon Bank and creator of one of the greatest fortunes on earth. Paul Mellon was the great American philanthropist and horse breeder and co-heir to the Mellon fortune. The mass of wealth accumulated by the Mellon family was so substantial that around the 1950’s, when Forbes Magazine was preparing its first “World’s richest list,” it was discovered that several of the Mellon family members were each worth a whopping $300 – 400 million each.

Paul Mellon

He used his fortune and personal wealth to better the lives of other people and animals. American Philanthropist Mellon established the Old Dominion Foundation in 1941 to further the learning of liberal education and humanities. He also founded the Bollingen Foundation in 1945 and after some time merged it with that of his daughter – Alice Mellon’s – foundation, which still goes today.

The man was a Yale student who felt strongly in the fundamental building blocks of the esteemed university that he supported and sponsored many of the programmes and gifted much fine art to the Yale Centre for British Art. Paul Mellon contributed much of his collection to the centre before he went on to contribute the Yale Science Centre to his alma maters.

Paul Mellon had a soft spot for racehorses and was extremely passionate about their health, safety and welfare. He went on donate $1 million to the Grayson-Jockey Club for the improvement and longevity of these outstanding animals.

He may not have had an interest in the world of banking, but Paul Mellon and his father had a common interest in art and horse racing. Their shared passion meant that the family built-up a vast and extremely impressive art collection that would rival even the most widely revered art foundations. Paul’s large estate means that even after his death, many of his benefactors are still benefitting from the massive wealth bequeathed to them. Many, such as Clare Hall and the University of Cambridge were given substantial sums, terms and conditions stipulated per Mellon’s will, and they continue to thrive under his gracious philanthropy. His love of horse racing also lives on with his two horses ‘Arts and Letters’ and ‘Fort Marcy’ being respectively inducted into a famous Hall of Fame – National Museum of Racing.

Paul Mellon and his incurable affinity for collecting priceless artefacts and art are what have led several high-profile universities to house some of the most breathtaking art in the world. The world certainly needs more Paul Mellon’s.

paul mellon

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As a freelance writer Vida Denning is required to research office space Perth for many art foundations.

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