Thanks to Stewart Mott

Stewart R. Mott, the political activist and philanthropist who died last week, was a consistent supporter of the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

A man of many appetites, he seemed to derive pleasure from giving away money to support causes he believed in. Luckily for us, open and accountable government was one of those causes. For fifteen years, he sent us checks that helped anchor and sustain this Project and Secrecy News.

“The disadvantages of being wealthy are, in my experience, few,” he told Tim Weiner of the New York Times in a video interview from 2006.

A June 14 Times obituary, “Stewart R. Mott, 70, Offbeat Philanthropist, Dies,” by Douglas Martin, captures some of his eccentricities and his willful non-conformism.

But his capacity for kindness, not his flamboyance, was his most attractive quality. We are in his debt.

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