Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Illinois man donates stock worth $2 million to wildlife sanctuary

In 1953, Russel Gremel purchased 20 shares of Walgreens stock for $1,000. More than six decades later, that stock is worth $2 million, and it's financing a haven for birds and wildlife in Illinois.

Gremel, a World War II and Koran War veteran, former lawyer, and retired Scoutmaster, is 98 years old, and with his health declining, he wanted to make a lasting contribution to the community. He's always loved nature, going camping and fishing as a kid and teaching Boy Scouts about conservation, and he chose to turn his shares over to the Illinois Audubon Society.

"He's an American hero, he's my hero, and a hero to so many others," Tom Clay, executive director of the Illinois Audubon Society, told ABC News. "He has a twinkle in his eye, and doesn't miss a thing when talking to him." The Gremel Wildlife Sanctuary covers 395 acres in Dixon, Illinois, and Gremel said he hopes that "generations of young land stewards and bird enthusiasts will visit and enjoy the sanctuary."