William Lewis Moody, Jr. (`865-1954) – Entrepreneur & Philanthropist
William Lewis Moody was an American financier and entrepreneur from Galveston, Texas. In 1889, Moody persuaded his father to open a bank. Later, the family acquired the National Bank of Texas, which became the W.L. Moody Bank. In 1907, Moody opened the City National Bank, which later became Moody National Bank. Moody had entered the insurance business in 1905 by helping to organize the American National Insurance Company. In 1908, he bought out his partners and was able to take advantage of new state laws designed to encourage insurance firms in Texas and expand the company. In 1920, he established the American Printing Company of Galveston. In 1927, he formed the National Hotel Corporation, which built such hotels as the Buccaneer and the Jean Lafitte in Galveston and acquired a number of other hotels throughout the country. Moody purchased the Galveston News, in 1923, the oldest continuously operating newspaper in Texas, from Alfred H. Belo. He also owned as many as eleven ranches in Texas and Oklahoma.
In 1942, William Lewis Moody, Jr. and his wife Libbie Shearn Rice Moody chartered the Moody Foundation, based on the island city of Galveston, “to benefit, in perpetuity, present and future generations of Texans.” The Foundation focuses the majority of its funding on programs involving education, social services, children’s needs, and community development. The Foundation’s main source of revenue consists of dividends from stock held in the AmericanNational Insurance Company, the majority of which is controlled by both the Moody Foundation and the Libbie Shearn Moody Trust. The trust department of the Moody National Bank administers the finances for both the Foundation and the Trust. The Foundation commits the majority of its grants and funding to the foundation-initiated projects of Moody Gardens and the Transitional Learning Center, both located in Galveston. However, over the past decade, it has begun expanding the scope of its grants to include projects across Texas, as long as they fall within its field of charitable focus. Moody Gardens is an educational and tourist complex. As of 2005, the Foundation had expended almost $300 million towards construction, expansion, and maintenance of the facility. The Transitional Learning Center (TLC) is a facility that specializes solely in post-acute brain injury rehabilitation. It was started by the Foundation in 1982, in response to a brain injury suffered by a son of trustee Robert L. Moody. The center provides survivors of acute brain injury with rehabilitation services needed to help patients overcome their injuries and regain independence. In 2005, the Foundation expended $38.1 million towards supporting and expanding the Transitional Learning Center and its programs.
We honor William Lewis Moody, Jr. because his philanthropic work makes him a Legacy Champ. If you want to be a Legacy Champ in your own special way, then contact The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and/or probate issues.
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