Last year, the staff at Donohue’s Steak House in Manhattan lost one of their favorite customers named Robert Ellsworth.
It wasn’t until his death that waitresses Maureen Donohue-Peters and her niece Maureen Barrie discovered that Robert was not only a regular patron, but also a wealthy art mogul. Judging from his down-to-earth personality and kindness, you’d never know he was rich.
Robert was a self-made multimillionaire known in the art world for his extensive collection of Asian antiques. At Donohue’s, however, he was just a nice guy who insisted on being called Bob, tipped well during Christmastime, and loved the open-faced bacon and cheese sandwich for $8.95.
According to his obituary, Robert died at the age of 85 — and it’s the “tip” he left in his will that’s got everyone talking. Robert’s estate totaled $200 million at the time of his death. He had left both Maureens — his two favorite waitresses — $50,000 each. Needless to say, they were completely flabbergasted by this incredible act of generosity.
This reminds me of the man who left a struggling mother a $3,000 tip on a bill for $43.50. People can really be amazing.
Money aside, there are two bigger lessons here: 1) Hard work pays off, and 2) People can really be amazing.