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Publishing Family Leaves Legacy Worth Millions To Stamford Institutions

Stamford Hospital, The Rotary Club of Stamford and The First Presbyterian Church of Stamford are among the beneficiaries of a $100 million charitable trust, officials announced Wednesday. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
Kingsley Gillespie stands in front of the Advocate's press in 1952. Photo Credit: Contributed
Stamford Hospital, The Rotary Club of Stamford and The First Presbyterian Church of Stamford are among the beneficiaries of a $100 million charitable trust, officials announced Wednesday. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

STAMFORD, Conn. — A family with deep roots in Stamford named three city organizations as among the beneficiaries of a $100 million trust, which one official described as a “fitting capstone” to the distinguished lives of a local newspaper publisher and his son.

The late Kingsley Alexander Gillespie and his late son, Kenyon, named Stamford Hospital, the Rotary Club of Stamford and the First Presbyterian Church of Stamford as beneficiaries of the family’s $100 million Gillespie Family Charitable Trust, officials announced Wednesday.

The hospital — the largest beneficiary— will receive 50 percent of the income from the $100 million Gillespie Trust. The gift is the largest in the hospital’s 120-year history.

“This is indeed a historic day for Stamford Hospital and for the people of our entire region,” Stamford Hospital CEO Brian Grissler told a group gathered in front of Old City Hall. He said the gift would help the hospital fulfill its ethos of “healing reimagined.”

“This gift truly will allows us to reimagine healing for all the communities that we serve,” Grissler said. “The Gillespie Family gift is truly inspirational and will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients from Stamford, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan and the surrounding towns that we serve.”

“We are proud to be a part of the Gillespie family legacy,” Grissler added.

Kingsley was the onetime publisher of The Advocate and Greenwich Time newspapers as well as the former owner of Stamford’s radio station WSTC-AM.

Kingsley died April 30, 1984, at the age of 88. His son, Kenyon, was a private investor who managed his inheritance for more than 30 years until his death last year. Officials said Kenyon lived a quiet life and always intended for his investments to benefit his father’s charities.

Other beneficiaries of the charitable trust include Setauket Presbyterian Church in Setauket, N.Y., The Long Island Museum of American Art History & Carriages and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Though Stamford Mayor David Martin didn’t know whether anyone from the Gillespie family was in the audience, he wanted them to know how grateful he was for their momentous gift.

“Maybe I can never say thank you to the family and this is the best I can do, but on behalf of this community — thank you,” Martin said.

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