he Rev. Dr. Elliot "Jack" Corbett
, co-founder of Pax World Funds
, died last week, reports Reuters
. Corbett was 82 and died in Portsmouth, New Hampshire after a short illness on March 18, according to the report. He had retired from Pax World in 1996.
Pax World was one of the first mutual funds to screen its investments based on social criteria. The fund, now known as the Pax World Balanced Fund, today holds some $1.1 billion in assets. Corbett had directed marketing for the fund prior to his retirement.
Jack Corbett and Luther Tyson
stumbled upon the idea for a socially-screened fund in 1967 when they received a letter from a woman in Ohio asking: "Is there a mutual fund which will manage my pension money without investing in war-related industries?" At the time the pair were working for the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church.
Tyson decided to open the fund a year latter during a trip home from France where he had been part of a delegation monitoring the Paris Peace Talks. Not able to find a fund sponsor interested in the idea, they turned to two Portsmouth-bred brothers -- Paul Brown
and Anthony Brown
-- for help in organizing the fund. The opened the Pax World Fund on August 10, 1971 with $101,000 in seed money.
Corbett retained his youthful spirit and optimism long after the usual retirement age. In 1998 he told Pax World shareholders at an award ceremony that he was both exuberant about life and prospects for the fund.
"As for me," said Corbett, "there is a paradox proverb that says that everyone wants to live longer, but no one wants to grow older. Of course, you can't do that. What I've noticed in my retirement is not that I'm growing older -- not that, of course -- but that I'm losing some energy. I think we all notice that, as we age. I'm fighting it partly by looking for the fountain-of-youth pill, so I take all the vitamins and minerals and nutrients that I can. If one of them turns out to really be the fountain-of-youth pill and I identify it, I'll let you all know. And I'll certainly let the manager of the Growth Fund know, so he can invest in the company that produces it and make a killing for the shareholders!"
His wife Sarah Anne, three children and three grandchildren survive Corbett.
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