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Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton

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Photo by Jim Graham

Microsoft’s Bill Gates is the famed billionaire credited with the saying, “With great wealth comes great responsibility.” And there’s a billionaire with local ties who has lived out this mantra. As heiress to the Campbell Soup fortune, Dorrance “Dodo” Hill Hamilton has made giving back an art form. 

Moving to the Main Line after marrying her late husband, Sam, Hamilton devoted herself to countless organizations in the city and western suburbs. Her association with Thomas Jefferson University dates all the way back to 1957. In 2005, she donated $25 million for a new medical-education building there. Another $2 million went to the creation of Lankenau Medical Center’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Department of Medicine Chair. 

For more than three decades, Hamilton has supported the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Closer to home, she has helped organizations like the Radnor Historical Society raise funds by opening up her private gardens for tours. 

Now 87, Hamilton is living quietly in Florida. And while her philanthropic efforts may have slowed, the impact of her decades of good works will be felt for generations. 

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