98-year-old Chicagoan turns $1K of Walgreens stock into $2M, donates it all to wildlife

Russ Gremel. Chicago Tribune photo(Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)

CHICAGO — A 98-year-old invested $1,000 in Walgreens stock over 70 years ago. Now those shares are worth over $2 million, and he’s donating it all to wildlife.

Russ Gremel is a self-described “simple man.” With no wife or children to take care of, he has decided to donate the money to the Illinois Audubon Society because of his love of nature. The organization has used the donation to buy a large plot of land for a wildlife refuge.

The nature preserve will be be home to over 200 species of birds and 400 species of plants.

The nearly 400-acre refuge near Dixon was dedicated in his honor and will open next month as the “Gremel Wildlife Sanctuary.”