John Jacob Astor on Why His Son Gave More to Charity

John Jacob Astor . . . enjoyed making fun of his own foibles, including his carefully restrained charitable instincts. One day when a man dropped by his office to solicit a contribution to some worthy cause, Astor grumpily wrote out a check. Looking at the paltry amount from the richest man in the country in some dismay, the man said that Astor’s son, William, had already given twice as much.
“Ah, well,” replied Astor, “but then William has a rich man for a father.”

Source:
Klepper, Michael, and Robert Gunther. “The American Heritage 40.” American Heritage 49, no. 6 (Oct. 1998): 56-66.
(Note: ellipsis added.)

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