Louis M. Benn, 1912-2005, Louisville, KY. A philanthropist and retired manager of the old JC Penney Co. store in downtown Louisville. Mr. Benn and his late wife, Florence, set up a trust fund to help 11 non-profit organizations, 10 of which were in Louisville. Mr. Benn helped many students gain scholarships. He fought for civil and human rights through many groups to which he dedicated his service. As examples, he served on the boards of the YMCA, the Kentucky and Louisville Chambers of Commerce, the Louisville Urban League, the Louisville Deaf Oral School, the Kentucky Independent College Foundation, the Better Business Bureau and the Associated Industries of Kentucky. He worked to persuade other philanthropists to each donate $100,000 to a trust that would finance 30,000 scholarships. He desegregated the bathrooms at his downtown store and hired African Americans when many businesses were segregated during the 1960s.
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