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Spencer Penrose (1865-1939)

  • Born in Philadelphia in 1865 to a wealthy family.
  • Graduated from Harvard in 1886, last in his class.
  • Came to Colorado Springs in 1892 to invest in a mining venture with his friend Charles Tutt; he eventually made a fortune mining in Cripple Creek, CO and Utah.
  • Married wealthy local widow Julie McMillan in 1906 in London, England.
  • Built The Broadmoor hotel in 1918, the Pikes Peak Highway in 1916, and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in 1926.
  •  Kept a secret (and large) supply of liquor during Prohibition.
  • Owned one of the largest collections of motor cars west of the Mississippi, and founded the Pikes Peak Hill Climb (the highest automobile race in the world).
  • Provided financial support for many local institutions, including the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Central City Opera, Pikes Peak Highway, and Fountain Valley School.
  • Founded El Pomar Foundation along with his wife Julie in 1937 to serve the people of Colorado.
  • Died from throat cancer in 1939 at the age of 74, leaving the majority of his estate to El Pomar Foundation.
  •  Buried in crypt at the Will Rogers Shrine.


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