Jack Bogle, who died yesterday at age 89, was one of the world's greatest investors. The founder of investment company Vanguard Group, he was known by many as the "father of index investing." His decades-long success had a unique start, however: a thesis he wrote as a college senior at Princeton.
"Were there no Princeton, there would be no Vanguard," Bogle explained at an address at Princeton in 2004.
Since the 1929 market crash wiped out his wealthy family's fortune, Bogle attended college on a scholarship.
Though Bogle had snagged good grades at the preparatory school Blair Academy, he found Princeton tough. A low point came in the fall of 1948 when Bogle struggled to pass an economics course taught by Paul Samuelson, a Nobel Laureate in Economics.
Bogle said he often struggled to maintain anything above the equivalent of a C average. He put his energies into his senior thesis to keep his scholarship and leave Princeton on a high note.