Social Worker Leaves Surprise $15 Million Fortune To Children's Charities

The 63-year-old -- who died unmarried and childless -- was known for three things: being a loner, his thriftiness, and a love for kids.

When Alan Naiman died from cancer in January, he surprisingly left an estate worth $AU 15 million ($US 11 million) to charities for poor, sick, disabled and abandoned children.

The social worker's stunning generosity has been highlighted by his various beneficiaries as the first anniversary of his death nears.

Unmarried and childless, friends believe the Seattle man's altruism came from a lifelong devotion to his late older brother, who had a developmental disability.

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“Growing up as a kid with an older, disabled brother kind of coloured the way he looked at things,” close friend Susan Madsen told AP.

Naiman was "known for an unabashed thriftiness that veered into comical".

He was reportedly a frugal loner who duct-taped his shoes, bought discounted food during off-peak hours and dined with friends at fast-food restaurants.

He started his career as a banker, but had worked at the Department of Social and Health Services in Washington state for the past 20 years.

He earned about $AU 95,000 ($US 67,000) annually and worked side gigs, saving and investing his money over the years to turn it into several million dollars.

His parents also left him millions, according to Shashi Karan, a friend from his banking days who told AP that Naiman mainly kept to himself.

“I don’t know if he was lonely. I think he was a loner,” Karan stated.

Naiman left approx. $3.5 million to the Pediatric Interim Care Center in Kent, Washington. Image: Facebook.

The stories behind Naiman's decision to donate to certain charities illustrate a touching personal connection.

One example is $AU 3.5 million ($US 2.5 million) given to the Pediatric Interim Care Center, America's first interim care nursery for drug-exposed newborns.

Over 10 years ago during a work shift, Naiman called the centre about a newborn in crisis and its founder, Barbara Drennen, immediately showed up to pick up the baby.

“We would never dream something like this would happen to us. I wish very much that I could have met him. I would have loved to have had him see the babies he’s protecting,” Drennen told AP.

Naiman's endowment to the centre paid off its mortgage and bought a new van to transport the 200 babies it accepts from hospitals each year.

Featured image: AP.