Houston Billionaire-Philanthropist Dan Duncan Dies
by: Laurie Johnson, March 29, 2010 3:03:00 pm
Dan Duncan, who was 77 years old, was listed by Forbes Magazine as Houston's wealthiest person and the third richest in Texas, with a net worth of $6.3 billion.
A spokesman for his company, Enterprise Products Partners, characterized his death as unexpected.
Duncan gave millions of dollars to institutions in the Texas Medical Center, including Texas Children's Hospital, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and UT's Health Science Center. One of the most recent gifts was a $100 million donation to create the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Kent Osborne is the center's director.
"Like many families in our country, he was affected by cancer, both personally with loved ones and himself. So he always thought that cancer was a terrible disease and that he wanted to try and do something that, whatever it was, to help patients in the future not have to suffer from cancer. And that was a major — not the only — but a major component to his philanthropy."
Duncan lost his second wife to ovarian cancer and was himself a prostate cancer survivor.
Osborne says there was one thing Duncan said to him that he'll never forget.
"I asked him what was the secret to his success. This was the very first time I met him -- he made you feel comfortable the very first time you meet him. His answer was that it was humility among your coworkers, and listen to that they say and always treat them as an equal. And I think those are words of wisdom that everyone should live by and I'll never forget my initial discussion with him. He'll really be missed."
Duncan is survived by his wife Jan, four children and four grandchildren.