Philadelphia Inquirer Tells Forman's Story

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Scholar's legacy provides education funding for Salem's children

by Rita Giordano, Staff Writer

When former Princeton professor and Salem City native son Forman Sinnickson Acton died two years ago at age 93, he was lauded as a technology pioneer, a gifted educator who could explain what others could barely comprehend. A private man of almost rakish charm, Acton was a world traveler, a circumspect bon vivant, a scholar whose love of learning went undimmed by the years.

In the life of the mind, he ranged wide and far. Acton was a contemporary of John Nash, along with some of math and engineering's other beautiful minds. He served in World War II and was tapped to work on the Manhattan Project. His handprints are on two of the 20th century's most defining innovations - the computer and the atomic bomb.

What was far less known, however, was that Acton, through wise investments, quietly amassed a fortune - more than $33 million.

Some of his money he donated to Princeton, his alma mater and employer.

But he also anonymously began funding scholarships for students in need. A bachelor, he confided to friends he wanted to help young people from his hometown - a small river city of about 5,000 that has known economically brighter days - to access the kind of educational opportunities that opened doors in his life.

And so, in the months after his death, the Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation was born. Its intent: to help Salem's children attain their scholastic dreams. A dispute, however, has arisen over its leadership and its goals. One thing is sure - his gift's great potential for generations of children.

Read the full story on the Inquirer's website.


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