Insight into South Dakota’s rich guy, T. Denny Sanford

  As the GOP convention gets underway, talk will abound about the rich and their fair share and job creators and insert-buzz-phrase-here.

It’s time to learn more about South Dakota’s perhaps most-famous 1-percenter, T. Denny Sanford, both subprime credit card baron (some would say robber-baron) and philanthropist extraordinaire.

This 2007 Forbes profile humanizes the man behind the money. His mother died when he was 4, and as the mother of two boys ages 2 & 3, that one hits you right in the throat.

This statue of T. Denny Sanford stands at the Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls. (Image from Wikipedia/Jake DeGroot)

In his zeal to give his money away before he dies, Sanford has spent his $2.8B fortune down to $400M. Break out the ramen.

At 8 he started working every afternoon and weekend, stocking his father’s shelves. The summer after graduating from high school he was arrested during a drunken brawl. That earned him a 90-day sentence in juvenile detention. A judge let him out on day 36, after he agreed to enroll at the University of Minnesota.

The piece doesn’t delve into his apparent need to see his name on every piece of rock and stone within South Dakota borders. But that’s another post.