Dorrance Estate Is Valued At $196m

Posted: July 11, 1990

John T. "Jack" Dorrance Jr., the late chairman of Campbell Soup Co., left an estate with a net value of $196,812,026.44, according to a meticulously detailed inventory filed in Montgomery County Court Monday and made public yesterday.

Although that's not a shabby amount, it's nowhere near the $1.6 billion that Forbes Magazine credited Dorrance with in its list of the 400 richest Americans in 1988, just months before he died in 1989.

Was Forbes wrong? No, because Forbes credited him with the value of 40 million shares of Campbell Soup stock that he controlled and from which he received dividend income through his lifetime.

He did not, however, own the stock - it was tied up in a trust which his father, Dr. John Dorrance, founder of Campbell Soup, established to eventually benefit his grandchildren.

One may quibble about whether Jack Dorrance should be properly called the late billionaire or merely the late multimillionaire, but the inventory filed on behalf of the estate by attorney Frank Mirabello of the Philadelphia law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius provides some insight into how Jack Dorrance lived - and how different that life was from most folks'.

For example, Jack Dorrance owned some $33 million worth of stocks and bonds. He owned common stock in 144 corporations - among them 76,736 shares of Campbell which he bought for himself. He owned stock in Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi and Quaker Oats. He favored such blue-chip investments as Merck, Toyota, Singapore Airlines, Sony and Philip Morris. He also owned 17 varieties of tax- free state or other government bonds. He had invested in 89 partnerships,

mainly oil or mineral drilling firms, venture capital operations or real estate.

He invested in wine. The value of his wine cellar was set at $100,856.

According to the inventory, Dorrance had roughly $13 million in cash in seven accounts. Most of that was held in "custody accounts" - accounts for which the bank is responsible for making sure the money is invested properly - at Philadelphia National Bank. About $750,000 was held in checking accounts: the smallest at Bryn Mawr Trust ($10,000), the largest at PNB ($99,057).

When Dorrance died of a heart attack, he had received $139,305 in 26 checks that he never got a chance to cash. Most were for stock dividend payments. One was a check from Morgan Guaranty for $5,208.33. Dorrance was a member of the bank's board of directors and that check covered his director's fee for January through March.

There was a check from Campbell's for $3,958.33, his fee for serving on Campbell's board of directors in March. There were a couple of $100 fees for serving as co-trustee of his grandchildren's trust funds. And there were two checks from Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. - each for $709.71.

Jack Dorrance's widow, Diana, has been ill for many years. In 1985, he established a $4 million trust fund to care for her. In addition, he left her another $8 million in his will. The inventory reveals Dorrance also made arrangements for his wife to receive the benefits of his consulting contract with Penn Mutual. The amount: $709.71 twice a month until the year 2003.

The inventory shows that Dorrance died with about $11,000 in cash. He'd redeemed some $4,500 in American Express traveler's checks, had collected foreign currency worth $6,000, and had $833 cash around the house.

According to the inventory, Dorrance's home at 1543 Monk Road in Gladwyne is valued at $10.5 million. And it contained $120 million worth of paintings, $2.8 million in Chinese porcelain and ceramics, $1.6 million in Chinese works of art, $362,620 worth of silver, $2.8 million worth of Russian art and furniture, more than $1 million in "decorations" and $1,600 in lighting fixtures.

The gardens contained $500,000 worth of sculpture and outdoor furniture.

The value of "furniture and decorations" in the cook's house and the butler's apartment was set at nearly $100,000 - $90,700 of it has already been sold.

On top of that there was $183,000 worth of cars, $83,000 worth of firearms, and $369,000 worth of jewelry, kept at home, in offices and at various safe- deposit boxes.

Jack Dorrance had 28 personal employees, and his estate settled paychecks due them. In addition, he left many of them $10,000 bequests in his will. The inventory shows he also had purchased annuities to pay retirement benefits ranging from $2,700 a year to $18,000 a year to 10 former employees aged 70 to 81. And some of them were also mentioned in the will.

Attorneys for the Dorrance estate had asked the Orphans Court of Montgomery County for an extension of time to file this inventory because Dorrance's holdings were so vast and complicated. Some idea of how difficult it is to settle such an estate is indicated in a list of dozens of canceled magazine subscriptions. The attorneys obtained a refund of $6.24 from Harper's Bazaar for the unused portion of his subscription. Refunds were obtained from Time, Modern Handcraft, Newsweek, Wildlife Art News, Architectural Digest, Board Room Reports, Consumer Reports, Connoisseur, New York magazine and Shooting Sportsman, among others.

Refunds were also received for the balance of annual dues to the Union League, the Princeton Club (Princeton was Dorrance's alma mater), the Newport Country Club and the Pine Valley Golf Club, among others.

Among the deductions allowed before taxes are assessed on an estate are charitable contributions and the cost of the funeral and administering the estate. Jack Dorrance left $16.8 million to charity, including a farm in Bucks County, valued at $3 million, which he previously gave to the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the condition that he could use it as a weekend retreat for his lifetime.

Some of the other contributions: $8.9 million to historically black Hampton University, $50,000 to the Church Farm School, a soup tureen worth $12,000 to the Campbell Museum, porcelain goats valued at $100,000 to the Art Museum, $400,000 to the Academy of Natural Sciences, $800,000 to the Brandywine

Conservatory, $30,000 to the Institute for Contemporary Art, $3,250 to the Audubon Society, $50,000 to Planned Parenthood and $225,000 to the United Way of Camden County.

The cost of the funeral? Some $53,000, including $22,782 for a reception for funeral guests and $511.45 to J.B. Caldwell's for engraved funeral notices.

The cost of administering his estate included attorney's fees totaling $3.25 million and real estate maintenance fees of $1.7 million.

Dorrance's will left the bulk of his estate to his grandchildren in six equal shares. The inventory estimates they will get roughly $26.7 million apiece in addition to the $2 million trust funds Dorrance set up for each of the six directly. The grandchildren are John Dorrance III's two sons, John IV, 17, and Charles, 14; Bennett Dorrance's son Bennett Jr., 19, and daughter Ashley, 14; and Mary Alice Dorrance Malone's two daughters, Mary Alice Jr., 7, and Catherine, 6.

The inventory states that, after allowable deductions, Pennsylvania inheritance taxes of roughly $11 million are owed. The estate paid an estimated tax of $11.5 million in January and will now ask for a $500,000 refund.

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