- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BRYN MAWR, Pa. (AP) - John M. Templeton, president and chairman of the $3.34 billion John Templeton Foundation, has died. He was 75.

The West Conshohocken-based foundation said Templeton died Saturday at his home in Bryn Mawr, but out of respect for him the family withheld the formal announcement until after a Sunday ceremony for the Templeton Prize sponsored by the foundation. His daughter, Heather Templeton Dill, said her father died of cancer, the foundation said.

Templeton was a former pediatric surgeon and director of the trauma program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who retired from his medical practice in 1995 to manage the foundation. He became president and CEO following the 2008 death of his father, Sir John Templeton, who created the Templeton Fund in 1954 and established the foundation in 1987.

During his 20 years at the helm, the foundation’s endowment grew from $28 million to $3.34 billion, with 188 grants awarded last year primarily to major universities and scholars worldwide, the foundation said.

The foundation awards an annual $1.7 million Templeton Prize intended to honor a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery or practical works.

The 2015 Prize was awarded to Jean Vanier founder of L’Arche, an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers.

Templeton is survived by his wife, Pina, who retired from Children’s Hospital in 1999, their daughters Heather Dill and Jennifer Simpson, six grandchildren, and a brother, Christopher. His sister, Anne Zimmerman, died in 2004.

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