George Wymberley Jones DeRenne

George W.J. DeRenne was born in 1827 under the name George Frederick Tilghman Jones and legally changed his name in 1866. DeRenne was born into a prominent and extremely wealthy family and chose to change his name for the sake of privacy. A generous philanthropist, DeRenne preferred to contribute to his chosen causes without garnering public recognition. One of these causes was the Georgia Historical Society, of which he was president from 1873-1874. Before and after his presidency, however, he worked diligently to improve the collections of the Society through his own donations and connections with other institutions. After his death on August 4, 1880, the entirety of his wealth was left to his family, reportedly amounting to $2,000,000 (approximately $58,093,333 in modern currency). DeRenne is buried in Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery.