John D. Hollingsworth, Jr.
Born in Atlanta, GA in 1917, John D. Hollingsworth, Jr. moved to Greenville, SC at a very young age. His grandfather, Pinkney C. Hollingsworth started the family textile machinery business with a mule-drawn wagon in the late 1800s until his father, John D. Hollingsworth, Sr. traded in the wagon for a truck in 1919 and operated the company out of the garage of the family’s house in Greenville. John Jr. was 10 years old when he began to tag along with his father on trips to the area’s textile mills to help fix the machinery, and he took over the company when his father died in 1942. Hollingsworth built John D. Hollingsworth on Wheels into one of the world’s leading fiber-processing equipment makers, inventing machinery that separated textile fibers ten times faster than earlier machines. He was recognized worldwide by his customers for providing immaculate service and was ultimately credited in part with revitalizing America’s textile machinery industry. Outside of his business, Hollingsworth had a keen interest in real estate. He spent 40 years amassing 42,000 acres, making him one of the largest private landowners in South Carolina.
An extraordinarily private individual, John D. Hollingsworth, Jr. established Hollingsworth Funds Inc., a charitable supporting organization, in 1976 as a means to provide anonymous support to the people of his adopted hometown. Upon his death in 2000, the bulk of his self-made textile and real estate fortune—valued at some $290 million—passed to Hollingsworth Funds.
Since its inception, Hollingsworth Funds has faithfully performed its responsibility, investing strategically in its named beneficiaries and other Greenville nonprofit organizations. In addition to philanthropic investments, the sale and development of Hollingsworth Funds real estate has also brought about significant economic development and opportunity for the Greenville area. Already, there’s the Millennium Campus, the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, the Shops at Greenridge and the 1,100-acre master-planned development known as Verdae.
Under provisions of the trust documents, Funds’ distributions are designated for specific beneficiaries, as outlined below:
45% of Funds’ distributions are designated to Furman University.
YMCA of Greenville
10% of Funds’ distributions are designated to the YMCA of Greenville.
45% of Funds’ distributions are designated to public charities benefiting Greenville County.