Blue-Collar Benefactor

An autoworker, 78, invests his money wisely--and gives away $1 million

Matel Dawson has worked and sweated as a forklift driver in Dearborn, Mich., for nearly 60 years, often clocking 84 hours a week. He has spent scarcely anything on himself, preferring to invest heavily in the stock of his employer, Ford Motor Co. He could have been one of those millionaires next door you read so much about, living frugally while piling up money for a lavish retirement.

Instead Dawson has given most of it to strangers. Since 1995, he has donated more than $1 million for college scholarships. And at age 78, he just keeps working and giving: "I wouldn't...

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