In 1999, American Heritage magazine rated Elihu Yale the "most overrated philanthropist" in American history. The college that would later bear his name (Yale University) had been founded in 1701 and was successful largely because of the generosity of a man named Jeremiah Dummer.

Yale had been born in Boston but at the age of 3 left America never to return. He went on to make an enormous fortune as an East India Company official.

At Dummer's request, Yale made a donation to the school, smaller than Dummer's philanthropy, but in 1718, the trustees began to refer to it as Yale College, and the name was made official when the legislature granted a new charter in 1745.

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