Co-Founder of Habitat for Humanity Dies

Fuller and his wife dumped riches to live out Christian values
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 3, 2009 11:28 AM CST
Fuller speaks in Arkansas about his dedication to building housing for the poor.   (Danny Johnston)
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(Newser) – Millard Fuller, the millionaire entrepreneur who gave it all away to help found the Christian house-building charity Habitat for Humanity, has died at 74. His wife Linda says her husband was complaining of chest pains, headache, and difficulty swallowing before his death early today. A global 100-house "blitz build" the couple had planned for their 50th anniversary in August will go on in his honor.

"He was an inspiration to me," says Jimmy Carter, one of Habitat's highest-profile volunteers. "He's one of the most extraordinary people I have ever known." The son of an Alabama farmer, Fuller formed a direct-marketing company that made the couple millionaires before they were 30. They then shunned wealth to found Habitat in 1976, a charity he ran until a conflict with the board led to Fuller's ouster in 2005.