Fred Schultz was a medic based in the South Pacific during World War II.
Job. Place. Time. That’s all his son, Howard Schultz, would ever know.
“From the time I was a young boy, to the day he died in 1987, my father would not once speak about the war,” the Starbucks CEO told me the other day. “These were things that were unspeakable. We never got a word from him. I think we just moved away and respected him.”
Years later, Schultz has dedicated $30 million of his family foundation money, hundreds of Starbucks jobs and now a new book to those who — like his father — went to war and came back changed.
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“For Love of Country,” written with a Washington Post editor, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, tells the stories of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The book is Schultz’s effort to remind Americans about the conflicts they’d rather forget — and those who gave their all.
Chandrasekaran, who drew the stories out of men and women soldiers, put the book together in a year. “We had an admonition from (former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who would join the Starbucks board of directors) to work quickly,” he said, “to really take advantage of the broad public support around these issues.”
“We need to educate and make the American people aware,” Schultz said, citing “a lack of empathy and understanding. We’re trying to create a national conversation that needs to take place.”
Schultz and his wife, Sheri, by the way, are new grandparents. Their son, Jordan, who writes a sports column for the Huffington Post (and lives in a $4 million loft purchased by his folks in New York’s Greenwich Village) had a baby girl three weeks ago with his wife, Breanna.
Mazel tov. And a salute to all veterans.
Sure, he’s got his Grammys and his millions and his own line of baseball garb at Ebbets Field Flannels.
But there had to be a certain satisfaction for Macklemore in receiving the Civil Libertarian Award from the ACLU of Washington last Saturday night.
The award honors his advocacy of LGBT equality, not just with his “Same Love” anthem and video, but with a public-service video he made for the organization last year, trumpeting the ACLU card.
The rapper wasn’t the only one being raised up the other night. The organization also honored Floyd Jones and Alene Moris for lifetime achievements in advancing civil liberties (Moris has her own Women’s Leadership Institute at the University of Washington); two legal teams from Perkins Coie that worked on cases to reform public defense and enforce voting rights; and Sienna Colburn, the Eastside Catholic School student who (with then-senior Julia Burns) organized a day of protest over the firing of Vice Principal Mark Zmuda over his same-sex marriage.
“The Bill of Rights is just a piece of paper unless people are willing to stand up and take action and put it into practice,” said ACLU communications director Doug Honig. “These people have very dramatically done things to make sure that the Bill of Rights is a living document.”
I tried to get a comment from Macklemore about his award, but was told he was resting (or trick-or-treating in a dress and wig).
It made sense that Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger talked about bringing “Twin Peaks” to the small screen when he came to Seattle last week to give the keynote at the UW Foster School of Business’ “Business Leadership Celebration” at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center.
Even better, Iger helped the school give out its 2014 Distinguished Leadership Awards to three alumni: Kemper Freeman Jr., the man behind Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and some of the last free parking in the Seattle metropolitan area; Nancy Jacob, who became the first female dean of a major American business school when she was appointed to the Foster School in 1981; and Dan Baty, who has made lots of money creating a network of assisted-living and retirement communities in 45 states, as well as private equity and wealth management. Someone called him “the quiet billionaire,” which Baty disputes.
“We’ve worked really hard at staying low-key,” he told me.
For him, it was all about the relationships he started at the UW: “It goes back to when I was 18 to 22 years old, just starting the education part of my career. Out of this came the relationships. I am still friends with a lot of these people after 40 years.”
Philanthropy is alive and well in this town — and, I have to say, a little mind-boggling, too.
Consider: At the Peace from the Streets by Kids from the Streets celebration last Saturday night, someone paid $1,100 for a Tom Douglas Coconut Cream Pie. That’s $137.50 a slice, if you cut it in eight.
Folks also kicked in $25 or $50 just to see table captains like Carol Latimer and Executive Director Susan Fox do the Hustle in front of the room. (The event had a ’70s theme; if I had a Nixon mask, I would have worn it.)
And when Eddie Vedder played a single, solo show for just 90 people at the Microsoft campus last Thursday, the Pearl Jam frontman raised almost $500,000 for epidermolysis bullosa research. (Tickets were auctioned off by Microsoft internally as part of its Giving Campaign; and Pearl Jam auctioned off two tickets on Crowdrise that raised almost $100,000.)
Go to www.ebresearch.org to learn more.
Vedder said that high-donor crowds were not his favorite, but this one was different.
“I’m glad you came, Seattle. For a 90-person crowd, you couldn’t be better.”
At $5,555 a head, I’d say they were spectacular.
Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Tuesday and Sunday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or email@example.com.