Everything you ever wanted to know about Lake Forest's 'secret millionaire'


Here in Chicago, a lot of us are asking questions about Grace Groner (pictured), the elderly "secret millionaire" who gave $7 million to Lake Forest College, her alma mater, when she passed away in January. Allow me, a Chicagoan and the editor of the Money College, to step in and answer some frequently asked questions.

Q. How did a 100-year-old lady save $7 million?
A. The short answer is that Groner made a $180 stock purchase in 1935 in Abbott Laboratories, where she would work as a secretary for more than four decades. What's more, she avoided driving in Chicago, where parking meter rates quadrupled in 2009.

Q. Is it true she lived in a one-bedroom house in Lake Forest, Illinois?
A. Correct. And if you have ever visited Lake Forest, which has about two mansions for every four residents, she was probably the only person who lived in a one-bedroom house in Lake Forest.