The legacy of Terry Kahn, an Indianapolis resident who passed away in 2021, continues to have an impact. Unbeknownst to many, Kahn, a secret millionaire, left a staggering $13 million to multiple local charities. This revelation comes courtesy of his attorney, Dwayne Isaacs, who shared the details of Kahn’s remarkable story with CBS News.

Described as “unbelievably frugal” by Isaacs, Kahn lived a modest life in the southern part of Indianapolis, having spent over three decades as an employee of the Veterans Administration. With no immediate family and a commitment to simplicity, Kahn’s frugality extended to his choice of residence, a humble house, and his mode of transportation, an aging Honda. Notably, he even refrained from using a cell phone, deeming it an unnecessary expense. Kahn, who preferred to keep a low profile, had expressed a wish for no public announcement or obituary upon his passing.

The narrative of Kahn’s life, as recounted by his attorney, extends beyond his financial legacy. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Kahn had a sister he grew up with. He pursued higher education at the University of Southern California, majoring in psychology and public administration. A veteran of the U.S. Army who served in Vietnam for three years, Kahn returned to Indianapolis in 1976, residing in a working-class neighborhood. Despite having an estranged nephew and a niece from his sister, who passed away in her 40s, Kahn remained a lifelong bachelor.

Isaacs, Kahn’s attorney, reports that he had a unique bond with the secret millionaire that spanned several decades. Having met in the mid-1990s during Isaacs’ tenure at the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis, the two would meet monthly for lunch, discussing Kahn’s legal affairs and personal life.

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The true impact of Kahn’s generosity unfolded as Isaacs took on the responsibility of allocating the $13 million to various charitable organizations over the past two years. Helping Veterans and Families of Indiana, led by Emmy Hildebrand, received a substantial $1 million, prompting gratitude and shock from Hildebrand. Similarly, Teachers’ Treasures, an organization providing free classroom supplies to educators, experienced a windfall with a donation of $1.5 million—nearly double its annual budget. Margaret Sheehan, the executive director, expressed her astonishment at this unexpected blessing. Coburn Place, a shelter for domestic violence survivors, also received a significant contribution, with Julie Henson, the vice president of development, recalling initial skepticism among her colleagues about the legitimacy of the offer.

Despite these heartwarming stories, Isaacs acknowledged that some non-profits initially doubted the authenticity of his calls, suspecting a scam. Others, unfortunately, missed out as they failed to return his attempts at communication. Approximately a dozen local charitable organizations in Indiana ultimately benefited from the Kahn fund, each receiving nearly half a million dollars.

Making the most of his wealth, Terry Kahn’s generous donations reflect a journey of humility, service, and an enduring commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. His secret fortune, now a source of hope for numerous charities, stands as a testament to the impact one individual can have on a community, even in the most unassuming manner.