Education: New Giant Giver

Arthur Vining Davis, who died last month at 95, is about to join, posthumously, the most distinguished club in U.S. capitalism—the founders of vast philanthropic foundations that are unparalleled throughout the world.

By his own account, Aluminum Pioneer Davis was the fifth richest man in the U.S. A penniless New England preacher's son, he spent 60 years building the Aluminum Co. of America into one of the world's industrial giants. At 80, he retired to Florida, seemingly ripe for a pipe, cabana and canasta. Instead, he began a second career of buying Florida real estate. Soon he owned an airline, a shipping...

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