ASCAT, the world-wide society of the leading publisher of catalogues, albums and magazines for stamp collectors, has chosen to award Mr. William "Bill" H. Gross the ASCAT Grand Prix, one of the most prestigious international philatelic awards.
Mr Gross is awarded the prize due to his great achievements and contributions as a Philatelist.
However his acts as a Philanthropist impressed the ASCAT Grand Prix Committee even more.
Mr. Gross is mostly known as the founder and chief investment officer of PIMCO, the world's largest bond manager and as an author of several books and articles about financial investments.
As a stamp collector he was the first person to form a complete collection of 19th century United States postage stamps.
The final stamp of the collection, a 1-cent 1868 "Z Grill", he got by trading it against a $2.97 million, unique, plate block of the Inverted Jenny.
He was awarded the Grand prix National at the World Exhibition WASHINGTON 2006 for his United States collection.
The same year his also outstanding Great Britain collection was sold at auction for over $9 million. Money that was all generously donated to the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).
At the time Mr Gross exclaimed "It's four times profit, better than the stock market"
In 2008 two more of his impressive collections, British Empire and Scandinavia, were sold and once again all the proceeds, totaling over $3 million, were donated to charity.
This time it was Columbia University's Millennium Village Project that benefited from the sales.
Former winners of the ASCAT Grand Prix include:
- 1996 S.A.S. Prince Rainier III of Monaco
- 1998 S.E. Juan Antonio Samaranch - President of the International Olympic Committee
- 2000 Mr. Bertrand Piccard - The first man to fly around the world in a balloon.
- 2002 Mr. Luis Figo - FIFA world football player of the year 2001
- 2004 The Royal Princess Maria Gabriella di Savoia
- 2006 Dr. Alexander Kroo in memoriam - Founder of the ASCAT Grand Prix.
This November, Spink Shreves Galleries had the honour of selling two more exceptional collections - hisand his .
The proceeds from the sales, $3,284,000 were donated in their entirety to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum where Mr Gross has pledged $8m for.
Mr Charles Shreve will be accepting the prize on behalf of Mr Gross during the opening reception forin Hotel Hermitage under the patronage of S. A. S. Prince Albert II of Monaco.
You can read more of Mr Gross's collections.
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