January 17, 2019
Yesterday was a roller coaster. Here’s why.
Yesterday afternoon a group of 22 fiduciary and investor advocates met in Washington DC to discuss the best ways to advance fiduciary ideas, practices and policies in 2019. Participants walked away feeling we made solid progress.
Then, the music stopped. One hour later, as I sat with friends talking about the day, the news hit: Jack Bogle had passed away.
Jack’s passing, at 89, richly deserves the huge accolades he is receiving. He was a model public servant operating in the private sector. Founding Vanguard and making the index fund accessible to the individual investor’s changed the capital markets to benefit tens of millions of ordinary people. Warren Buffett had already previously suggested that a statute be erected in his honor.
Jack’s passing is personal, too. I knew him for ten years. He served on the Institute’s Board of Advisors, actively. He joined our meeting With Chairman Clayton last June.
I compiled the book, “The Man in the Arena,” which tells the story of his legacy and highlights his books. His writings draw widely from finance and politics to American history and biblical teachings.
The best parts of Jack’s legacy are in the personal stories of others. The correspondence and tales of Vanguard shareholders, crew members – as well as national leaders in finance, academia and public life. They tell Jack’s story. His vision and integrity, his darn persistence in reforming finance. His respect for everyone. People from all walks of life speak, often in intense and emotional terms, of their appreciation for what he did. They speak in terms that seem more adulation for a rock star than appreciation for a public servant. Being witness to this outpouring, through letters and first-hand experiences, has been an experience of a lifetime.
A visit to Jack’s office was special. Emily there with a cheery greeting. The discussion about anything fiduciary. On one visit last year, it was the new SEC proposals. Comments on the news then flowed freely; his sense of humor always intact, especially when at my own expense. Throughout, his overarching optimism for the future of fiduciary and the work of the Institute shown through. As an advisor, he was constant: “Press on, regardless.”
Yesterday was personal — and a rollercoaster. What better way to honor Jack, though, than for the 22 of us to, as he says, “Press on, regardless.”
Jack Bogle Obituary
Originally published on Legacy.com
John Clifton Bogle of Bryn Mawr PA died at home on January 16, 2019, surrounded by his family. He was 89 years old.
Mr. Bogle, known as Jack, was born May 8, 1929 in Montclair NJ with his twin brother David Caldwell to William Yates Bogle Jr and Josephine Hipkins Bogle. They joined their older brother William Yates III (Bud) and became known by a lifelong circle of friends as the Bogle Boys.
Consistently driven, determined and hard working, the twins followed their older brother to Blair Academy in 1945 and graduated in 1947. Their time at Blair inspired a life long devotion and commitment to the school. After graduating from Blair, Mr. Bogle entered Princeton University as a scholarship student, working as a waiter in the dining halls and in the athletic ticket office to pay for his education. He studied economics, writing his thesis on the then unknown mutual fund industry, and graduated magna cum laude in 1951. While at Princeton he met and was befriended by Jay Sherrerd, class of 1952, who brought Mr. Bogle home to Bryn Mawr to meet his family, including Jay’s younger sister Eve. The two married in 1956 and had six children.
After Princeton, Mr. Bogle was hired by Walter L. Morgan, founder of the nation’s oldest balanced mutual fund, Wellington Fund, where Mr. Bogle was the driving force behind Wellington’s growth into a mutual fund family. A dispute with new partners at the Fund lead to his firing and subsequently his founding in 1975 of The Vanguard Group of Investment Companies, two occasions he proclaimed ever since that he underwent “fired with enthusiasm!” Leading the company until his heart transplant in 1996, he nonetheless remained forever after a vocal and strident advocate of the individual investor with books, speeches, opinion pieces, and public appearances.
Mr. Bogle was fiercely competitive, especially on the doubles squash courts where opponents feared his determination and drop shot. The family played tennis together, often at their treasured family home in Lake Placid, NY, a place to which they still retreat for the summer months. Not just athletically competitive, his relaxation came from completing the daily New York Times crossword puzzles, including Sunday, in ink, comparing his time to finish to those of his brothers and children.
A devoted philanthropist, Mr. Bogle served the Board of Trustees of Blair Academy from 1972 to this day, including 16 years as its Chairman. Among his most remarkable and proud accomplishments, he established the Bogle Brothers Scholarship Fund which to date has funded the education of nearly 200 students. In 1998 he was named Chairman of the National Constitution Center, overseeing its creation and building on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall where it continues as one of the city’s most treasured institutions. He remained active in numerous other local and national educational, civic, medical and arts organizations as well.
Mr. Bogle suffered from a rare and degenerative heart disease, and was admitted to Hahnemann Hospital in the fall of 1995 to begin the wait for a new heart. He received the extraordinary second chance at life in February 1996, for which he remained exceptionally grateful.
Mr. Bogle is survived by his wife Eve, daughters Barbara Bogle Renninger (Scott), Jean Bogle, Nancy Bogle St John (Gordon), and Sandra Bogle Marucci (Buddy), sons John Clifton Bogle Jr (Lynn) and Andrew Armstrong Bogle, twelve grandchildren, and six great-grandsons, and his brother William Yates Bogle III. He is predeceased by his twin brother David Caldwell Bogle.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Blair Academy, the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, and Gesu School. Private services for family and friends will be held at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church on Monday, January 21 at 11 am.