Karl Gottschalk, who escaped Nazi Germany and moved to Cincinnati, loved America. He loved it so much that when he died he left his entire estate to the U.S. government and his local county government.
"He always said he was very happy to be an American," Ruby Graham, a neighbor, said. "He told me most Americans don't really appreciate how lucky they are to live in this country."Seven months after his death at the age of 87, Gottschalk, thanked America again Thursday.
According to the terms of his will, his life savings - $350,000 - was turned over to America. One check for $175,000 went to the U.S. Treasury and one check for $175,000 went to the Hamilton County government.
Gottschalk, who had no living heirs, spent very little of the money he made selling fabrics door-to-door in Cincinnati. He dressed modestly, lived in a tiny apartment, didn't own a telephone and drove an old car that often wouldn't start.
David Holzderber, a friend and executor of Gottschalk's estate, said the salesman's will said he was giving the money to the government as thanks for giving him "a place to live and be free."