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Kansas City Philanthropist's Money Was The Foundation Of U.S. Conservative Ideology

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Kansas City Museum (George Fuller Green Collection)
William Volker made a fortune in the home furnishings business and gave generously, and anonymously, to Kansas Citians in need.

Started in 1932 the William Volker Charities Fund focused on progressive social programs for the less fortunate in Kansas City but after his death was used to aggressively support a "procapitalist, pro-Christian, and anticommunist agenda."

The name Volker will soon be replaced by Dr. Martin Luther King on street signs in Kansas City. But few know the story of the man whose name adorned the boulevard for decades. William Volker’s life was more than an immigrant success story. Known for his charitable works, Volker’s money would go on after his death to fuel libertarian and conservative ideology well into the 1960s.

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