That Great Heart
That Great Heart: The Life of I. A. O'Shaughnessy, Oilman & Philanthropist by Doug Hennes. Ignatius Aloysius O'Shaughnessy, the thirteenth child of a Minnesota bootmaker, was kicked out of St. John's University in 1902 after skipping Sunday vespers to drink beer. On his way home, the sixteen-year-old stopped at the College of St. Thomas, bumped into the president, and shared his story, admitting his mistake. The president, impressed with O'Shaughnessy's honesty, accepted him as a student. O'Shaughnessy went on to star on the football team, and graduated in 1907. Ten years later, he founded Globe Oil & Refining Co. in Oklahoma, becoming the largest independent oil refiner in the U.S. He gave most of his money away, as the leading benefactor of Catholic higher education in the U.S., with St. Thomas and Notre Dame as primary beneficiaries. He funded hundreds of organizations and causes, reviewing every inquiry, always sending a reply, and, if he said no, an explanation. In this biography full of warm and revealing anecdotes, O'Shaughnessy's inspiring story finally is told.