Philanthropist Sir John Templeton dies at 95

Sir John Templeton, the American-born investor and philanthropist who devoted his later life to funding the scientific study of religion, died July 8 at Doctors Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas. He was 95.

The John Templeton Foundation, his charitable organization, said the cause of death was pneumonia.

Once called "arguably the greatest global stock picker," Templeton founded a prize for "progress toward research or discoveries about spiritual realities" in 1972. He sought to make the million-dollar Templeton Prize the world's largest annual award bestowed on an individual, always exceeding the monetary value of the Nobel Prize.

In 1987, Templeton, a Presbyterian, set up an eponymous foundation dedicated to exploring what he called the "big questions" of science and religion: God's plan, man's faith, and the order of the universe.

"Scientific revelations may be a goldmine for revitalizing religion in the 21st century," Templeton once said.

Focusing on what he called a "humble approach" to theology, Templeton also wrote, co-wrote, or edited two dozen books, several of which incorporated ideas from many world religions.

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