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Frugal Floridian Leaves $35M to Research

October 18, 2006

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) _ A 100-year-old woman who quietly amassed a vast fortune before her death last year left $35.6 million to local diabetes and cancer research.

Eugenia Dodson donated two-thirds of the money to the University of Miami’s Diabetes Research Institute, the largest gift in its 35-year history. The rest goes to the university’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

``She didn’t want any recognition in her lifetime, so she directed her lawyer to keep it confidential,″ said Dr. W. Jarrard Goodwin, director of the Sylvester Center. ``I told her people would be grateful. She said, ’No, I don’t want anyone to know.‴

Dodson lost part of a lung to cancer, and her two brothers died from complications to diabetes, according to Donald Kubit, co-trustee of her fund.

Dodson’s husband had held a stake in a limestone quarry, which went to her after his death in 1949. While she could have afforded a more lavish lifestyle, she instead saved money by living in a small condo and refusing in-home care until she was nearly 100, Kubit said.

``She denied herself the trappings of wealth. She was dead-set on doing good for humankind,″ Kubit said. ``She had a big heart.″

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