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On Saturday, November 12th, 2022, longtime Philanthropy Daily contributor, Martin Morse Wooster, was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Williamsburg, Virginia. A true devotee of civil society, Martin was in Williamsburg attending a conference on beer across history.

In addition to writing for Philanthropy Daily, Martin was a senior fellow at the Capital Research Center, and contributed significantly to research on philanthropy and especially the issue of donor intent. Martin's contributions to questions around philanthropy, charity, and donor intent can scarcely be overstated. How Great Philanthropists Failed remains the leading book on donor intent and the history of failed philanthropic legacies.

Martin's work has appeared everywhere from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Reason, and numerous other publications.

Martin will be sorely missed by all of us at Philanthropy Daily and countless others who have benefited from his important work.

9 thoughts on “Martin Morse Wooster, RIP”

  1. Neil Hrab says:

    I cannot recall reading a single piece of writing by the late Martin Morse Wooster on American philanthropy that wasn’t in some sense a “home run.”

    He could always dig deep into the available source material to find the telling quotes or incisive anecdotes that would clinch the points he wanted to convey; and if the source material was a little dry, then Martin’s own vast knowledge of the non-profit sector and foundation world could be brought to bear, allowing him to masterfully contextualize the matters at hand.

    And he did all this in his characteristic clear, clean prose.

    My sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

  2. Steven Taylor says:

    Martin and I were classmates in high school. We both lived near our old school, so we often saw each other on the bus and had lengthy conversations. I certainly will miss these discussions.

  3. richard coyle says:

    Never met in pers0n but emailed for 3 years after reading all of his articles. Smart man who researched, analyzed, recommenced and wrote common-sense guidance for everyone. His communication abilities and voluminous output educated me, and h9pefully many others.

  4. Bob Huberty says:

    A very fine researcher and writer.

  5. Tom Hazlett says:

    This is a tragedy of immense proportion. Never was there a gentler soul. MMW was a superb writer, a sage student of history, a keen baseball fan, and a wonderful friend. R.I.P., Martin Morse Wooster.

  6. Craig Kennedy says:

    His work never received the attention it deserved. A very fine scholar.

  7. JOHN IVES says:

    Great guy who will be missed.

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