Standard Oil heiress leaves former school $40 million

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Standard Oil Heiress Leaves Former School Massive Donation

When you think of an heiress, Paris Hilton is probably who comes to mind, and you likely don't think of a station wagon.

Well, for the last living relative of an old oil tycoon, station wagons trumped tiaras.

Ruth Bedford was the last living heiress of the Standard Oil fortune and was known for trucking around town wearing jeans and driving an old station wagon.

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This summer, the heiress passed away in her sleep at the age of 99 at her home in Connecticut. She spent much of her life living modestly, but her friends say she had her indulgences. For instance, Ruth loved a good glass of scotch.

But because Bedford never married and had no children, she left her fortune to her alma mater, the Foxcroft school. Foxcroft is a boarding and day school for girls in grades 9 through 12, and when we say fortune, we mean a fortune.

The school was bequeathed $40 million from the Bedford estate. Yes, $40 million. A donation of this magnitude will change the lives of the handful of students who attend the all-girl academy in Virginia.

Cathy McGehee, Foxcrofts head of school, had the honor of announcing the donation to an elated and stunned group.

So, where did all this money came from? Ruth Bedford's fortune spans generations, going back to her grandfather who helped develop many products, including the petroleum product we know today as Vaseline.

Makes you think twice about how you look at someone cruising around town in a beat up station wagon, doesn't it?

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