Entertaining real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on March 31st 2020
Eva Gordon: A woman of seemingly modest means who left nearly $10-million for 17 community colleges throughout Washington state

When Eva died at 105 in 2018, she left over $550,000 per college, a stunning amount of money, to help students pay for books, housing, tuition, transportation and other needs.

How did she make so much money and why did she leave it to help students in need?

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Eva graduated at the top of her high school class, according to her godson John Jacobs.

But it was in The Great Depression, and most people including Eva had to work, if they could find work. Much to her regret, college was not an option.

Eventually, Eva worked for a Seattle investment firm.

While working there, she saved her money and bought stock in giant utilities, oil companies and other large firms.

Eva also had the foresight to buy shares in then small risky companies Microsoft, Nordstrom and Starbucks.

And she lived well within her means. "If there was a coupon for two-for-one at Applebee's," added her godsend, "she was all about that."

Eva didn't marry until she was 51, and never had children. Her husband Ed was a stockbroker and together they also taught financial classes at the McNeil Island Corrections Center.

Eva and Ed Gordon
Eva and Ed Gordon
Photo: rtc.edu

When Ed died in 2008, Eva honored his wish to donate over $3 million to South Seattle College, as part of the couple's desire to help students.

While Eva never realized her dream to attend college, her donations will help many thousands of children from low- and middle-income families achieve their dreams of a higher education.

Editor's Note: To learn more, click here, here and here.

In the next KazanToday: A business owner who paid off an employee's mortgage so the man could retire.

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