Millionaires giving away some of their fortune isn’t all that newsworthy, unless the dollar amount is really eye-popping. But when you’ve secretly amassed some $13 million dollars, the story becomes all the more interesting.
That was the case with Terry Khan, an Indianapolis man who eventually found himself to be an under-the-radar multimillionaire, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. Before Kahn died in 2021, he stipulated that his fortune was to be donated to various charities, and over the past two years, the executors of his estate have been doing just that.
Those who knew Khan were surprised when they realized just how much money he had on his hands. For most of his working life, he was employed by the same VA medical center, from which he retired in 2003 as the human-resources chief, the Post noted. He lived in the same house for more than 20 years (which sold for just $200,000 after he died) and he never owned a cellphone.
“He’s one of the most frugal people I’ve ever met,” Dwayne Isaacs, a lawyer and friend of Khan’s, told the newspaper.
Khan did ball out on the things that were important to him, though: As a sports fan, he had season tickets to the Indianapolis Colts, the Indiana Pacers, and the Butler University men’s basketball team. But still, if he couldn’t attend a game, Khan would sell those tickets and earn back some of his money.
Isaacs, who met Khan in the ’90s, was eventually tasked with executing the multimillionaire’s will, alongside Khan’s former co-worker and friend Vance McLarren. When Isaacs was first looped in, Khan said he had some $3 million to $4 million. Before he died, he let the two know that his net worth had skyrocketed to $13 million.
“We were very surprised,” Isaacs said. “And at that point in time, I think my quote was, ‘Damn it, Terry, why didn’t you let us know?’”
Khan didn’t specify which charity groups should receive his money, so Isaacs and McLarren figured out how they wanted to disburse the sum. They landed on giving $1 million donations to organizations where the cash would be “transformative,” and they chose groups that aligned with Khan’s interests, such as those focused on health care, veterans affairs, and children’s education and sports.
While he may not have spent much of his money when he was alive, Khan found ways to make his fortune go pretty far after he passed.