Trader Fact File Sir John Templeton

Sir John Marks Templeton was an American-born British stock investor who was born in November 1912 and is well-known for his philanthropic work which is estimated to be more than $1 billion in value.

Templeton was born in Winchester, Tennessee and graduated from Yale University in 1934 at the top of his class. He was a fantastic poker player and used his skills to partly fund some of his tuition while studying at Yale.

He then went on to study at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, earning his M.A. in law.


Sir John Marks Templeton is best known as a philanthropist, founding such organisations as the John Templeton Foundation, the Templeton College of the University of Oxford, and the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities.

In 2007 he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the category of Power Givers.

He was given this award for his “pursuit of spiritual understanding, often through scientific research” with the Templeton Foundation.


Templeton is arguably a different breed of investor compared to what we know about many other individuals in the world of finance.

He attributed a lot of his success to always striving to keep a positive mentality, avoid negativity, and remain disciplined in all endeavours. He also lived a relatively minimalist lifestyle by driving his own car and not indulging in lavish and expensive luxuries.

Templeton placed a great deal of emphasis on the pursuit of spiritual progress, and as a member of the Presbyterian Church, he remained incredibly open-minded in the context of all faiths.

Speaking about the purpose of the Templeton Foundation which he founded, Sir Templeton said in an interview with Financial Intelligence Report: “We are trying to persuade people that no human has yet grasped 1% of what can be known about spiritual realities. So we are encouraging people to start using the same methods of science that have been so productive in other areas, in order to discover spiritual realities.”

Greatest Achievements

Although John Templeton certainly amassed a fortune throughout his career, his greatest achievements almost certainly lie in the area of philanthropy.

His contributions to the Presbyterian Church, not to mention all other areas of spiritual progress still live on today.

He received his knighthood in 1987, as well as being added to the Junior Achievement US Business Hall of Fame in 1996.

What’s more, Templeton was awarded with the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership in 2003.

As traders and investors there is a lot to be learnt from Templeton’s commitment to mentality, spirituality, and grace under pressure.

This is what afforded him much of his success, and perhaps why his name is still so well known today.

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