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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 22, 2006

From Jack and Marie Lord, a parting gift of $40 million

By Rick Daysog
Advertiser Staff Writer

“Hawaii Five-0” icon Jack Lord and his wife, Marie, chose the charities that their endowment will help. Proceeds from sales of his large memorabilia collection and their apartment will be added to the fund.


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In a scene from “Hawaii Five-O,” Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord), sees his nemesis Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh) behind bars.

Advertiser library photo

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Jack Lord, whose long-running crime drama "Hawaii Five-0" introduced Honolulu to millions of television viewers, amassed a fortune in excess of $40 million, which is all going to a dozen Hawai'i charities.

Lord, who died in 1998, and his wife, Marie Lord, who died in October, were savvy investors who accumulated a large portfolio of stocks, bonds and real- estate investments.

The endowment also includes Jack Lord's sizable collection of celebrity memorabilia, such as "Hawaii Five-0" mementos, his paintings, photos, and gifts from longtime friends Sammy Davis Jr. and Elvis Presley.

The $40 million will be used to create the Jack and Marie Lord Fund, which will generate an estimated $1.6 million to $2 million a year, to be divided among 12 Hawai'i nonprofits.

The charities, selected by the Lords, are Hospice Hawaii, St. Francis Hospice Care Center, the Salvation Army's Hawai'i division, Eye of the Pacific Guide Dogs Inc., The Association for Retarded Citizens in Hawaii, the Bishop Museum, Variety Club of Honolulu, the Hawaiian Humane Society, the United Service Organizations, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii Public Television and the Hawaii Lions Eye Foundation.

"This basically means that we can continue operating in Hawai'i," said Sean Wofford, executive director of Hawai'i Lions Eye Foundation, a nonprofit that will receive as much as $100,000 a year from the Lords' endowment.

The organization operates a donor bank for eye tissue.

The dozen charities will receive $32,000 to $340,000 a year, said Kelvin Taketa, chief executive officer of the Hawaii Community Foundation, which will administer the fund.

The Lords' $40 million gift is one of the largest to a charitable organization.

A $100 million endowment was set up for the benefit of 16 local community organizations by Big Island rancher Maude Woods Wodehouse, who died in 2003.

Don Horner, chief executive officer of First Hawaiian Bank, which has handled the Lords' investment, banking and estate- planning needs for more than 40 years, said that most of the Lords' assets were in the form of stocks, bonds and real- estate partnerships.

The Lords' condominium at the Kahala Beach apartment complex will be sold and the proceeds added to the fund.

The $40 million gift does not include Jack Lord's substantial collection of memorabilia, which has not yet been appraised. Clothing made by Marie Lord and videos of "Hawaii Five-O" episodes also are part of the collection.

The collection eventually will be auctioned off, said Horner.

"I don't think its value is in the millions of dollars, but being the prudent trust officer, we are intent on maximizing the value to carry out his wishes," Horner said.

Hawai'i Lions faced the possibility of closing in the next few years because of increased costs brought on by federal regulation, Wofford said.

"This will guarantee our future and existence," said Wofford.

Ken Zeri, president of Hospice Hawaii, said the Lords' gift represents a month of operating costs at the nonprofit agency, which assists terminally ill patients and their families.

Hospice Hawaii, which has an annual budget of about $4 million, will receive the largest portion of the fund, about $340,000 a year. "This money means that we can bring our mission to more people," Zeri said.

The Lords' relationship with the Hawaii Community Foundation dates back to 1988, when they set up a fund to benefit the 12 charities with a $50,000 gift.

The fund grew to about $750,000 at the time of Jack Lord's death.

Reach Rick Daysog at rdaysog@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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