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Google doodle's George Peabody

You've probably already noticed today's delightful Google Doodle, but what's the story behind its subject, George Peabody? Time Magazine reports Peabody was a banker and patron of education initiatives whose generosity made him known as the “father of modern philanthropy.” Today is the anniversary of his reception of the Congressional Gold Medal in 1867 for charitable work.

Despite being born into a low-income family in Massachusetts in 1795 and having limited education, Peabody went on to acquire an extravagant fortune as a trade financier in London. Frugal in his habits but generous with his donations, Peabody funded many educational institutions and libraries in the U.S. as well as one of the largest housing organizations in the U.K., the Peabody Trust.