In Memory of Dr. John (Jack) Templeton, Jr., RIP
By Rachel Ehrenfeld, Director
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 @ 12:41AM
Left: Dr. Jack Templeton at the ACD Roundtable on Cyber/Space, EMP Insecurity – Current and Future Threats, WAshington DC, September 30, 2013.
Dr. John (Jack) Templeton, whose innovative thinking, energy and compassion matched the breadth of his interests and generous philanthropy, died on Saturday, May 16, at the age of 75.
He headed the John Templeton Foundation for 20 years. Earlier, as a pediatric surgeon, he received international acclaim for pioneering surgeries on conjoined twins.
The long list of issues supported by the Templeton Foundation focused on “the big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality,” contributing to individual autonomy and freedom, science and genetics, developing exceptional cognitive talent and genius and free enterprise. Each year the Foundation awards the Templeton Prize to “a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.
Dr. Templeton took being an American seriously.
He was an ardent student of the relationship between human nature, science, politics and economics. This remained the focus of his attention to ³Big Questions.² However, there was no practical problem regarding American freedoms, national security, health, education, and public policy that was not of the keenest interest to him. He had unusual foresight and the ability to identify threats to American civil society well before others and encouraged and funded those who were willing and able to provide pragmatic solutions.
He was not only interested in improving the lives of helpless individuals through scientific achievements, but tirelessly sought out, engaged and supported original thinkers to execute their vision and innovations for the benefit of others.
He gave of himself in ways far more important than financial support. He constantly studied problems and offered help to those whose work would protect the American Constitution,reinforce American and Judeo-Christian values, enhance the educational and economic opportunities for all Americans, and strengthen national security. He personally addressed all these things and more and was always generous, and as importantly, gave overwhelming moral support.
The American Center for Democracy and I personally, have been grateful for Dr. Templeton¹s guidance and generous support over the years.
Unlike many, he early on understood the threat of lawfare to our freedom of speech and generously supported our efforts to fight Libel Tourism. Indeed, without his support, American writers and the media would still be intimidated by the threat of foreign libel lawsuits.
The passage of the SPEECH Act of 2010, which now protects Americans from the enforcement of foreign libel judgments, is a testimony to his efforts to protect the First Amendment. In this, Dr. Templeton made an enormous contribution to the cause of Free Speech. Likewise, his other contributions have helped to make a huge impact on issues pertinent to a free and vibrant society.
On a personal note, I want to send my sincere condolences to his beloved wife and partner, Dr. Josephine (Pina) Templeton and his daughters who continue in his footsteps.
The Templetons hosted me in their home; and, in our long conversations on mutual concerns, they shared their views with me. Jack has always had a special insight and ability to go to the heart of whatever we discussed and always offered new insight that helped show the best way to overcome obstacles and make things better.
I will always cherish Dr. Jack Templeton¹s memory and be guided by his approach to life and civic duty. May he rest in peace.