Sharing life's blessings

September 16, 2014

“Money is a means to an end,” observed George McManus Jr. shortly before he died in November 2013. “If you are blessed with more than you need, then you should share it with your fellow man.”

Born into a poor family, George was the oldest of four boys. His mother died when he was six, and his struggling father would drop his sons at a Catholic church for safety. George attended Catholic schools for free and had advocates who helped him enter Harvard Law School. When many Baltimore law firms refused to hire a Catholic attorney, he found success at a Jewish firm until he opened his own firm, where his greatest satisfaction came from helping “the little guy beat the big guy.”

As a lawyer, I knew what foundations could do,” he said, “and I had promised to help others as I was helped.” He created his own private philanthropic foundation early in his career and, in his 90s, began to consider a succession plan. His financial advisor recommended a charitable fund at BCF.

The George W. McManus Jr. Foundation Fund at BCF is being built with a distribution from Mr. McManus’ private foundation as well as distributions from a charitable lead trust. Many grants distributed annually from the fund will go to organizations that he believed in deeply. Calvert Hall High School, McDonogh School and Loyola University Maryland will receive annual grants for faculty enrichment and student scholarships. Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Harvard Law School, Sts Philip and James Catholic Church, The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, Legal Aid Bureau of MD and Marian House will receive annual grants to support those organizations’ mission. Other grants from the Fund will be advised by his children and grandchildren.

This charitable fund will serve as a perpetual legacy of one man’s gratitude to his community, and as a link to connect succeeding generations.


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