Carol Snowden was an American hero. Not the kind we are used to hearing about—she didn’t risk her life or invent something amazing. Her heroism is also much less flashy and ambiguous than a certain other Snowden, who is presumably still in Russia somewhere. No, Carol Snowden was a much more ordinary hero.
Snowden was a librarian in Columbus Ohio. She worked for thirty years in a branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. She died in 2008 of ovarian cancer. It was only then that her coworkers found out that Carol Snowden was a millionaire, and that she was giving nearly all of her savings to libraries in Columbus.
So, where did she get that million dollars? Rich family? Savvy investor? Maybe she used her spare time at the library to play online poker?
Nope: she just saved up. Snowden put a little money aside on a regular basis for thirty years, and by the time she passed away, that sum totaled over $1 million. After consulting with her family, Snowden left $530,000 to the Whitehall branch, where she worked, devoting it specifically to the children’s section, and $70,000 to each of seven other libraries in Columbus area schools. Add it all up, and that’s just over $1 million.
Carol Snowden loved books and saw what they mean to children. She devoted her life to that love through her daily work, and secretly, through her frugal lifestyle, her impact lives on after her death.