Santa doles out dollars

2006-11-30 07:25
<b>'Tis the season... Larry Stewart gives money to strangers in need. (M Spencer Green, AP)</b>

'Tis the season... Larry Stewart gives money to strangers in need. (M Spencer Green, AP)

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Chicago - A Missouri millionaire and one-time secret Santa spread holiday cheer and crisp $100 bills to residents of Chicago's southwest side.

"I'm just passing on a little of what the Lord left me," Larry Stewart, 58, said on Wednesday as he pressed money into the hands of convenience store workers near Chicago's Midway Airport.

The businessman from the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit, Missouri, made headlines earlier this month when he revealed he was the man who has been anonymously handing out cash to strangers during the holidays for nearly 26 years.

Stewart began giving out $5 and $10 bills. But as he made millions in cable television and long-distance telephone service, Stewart began passing out $100 bills - sometimes two or three at a time.

By Stewart's count, he's anonymously given out about $1.3m over the years.

But the Santa stint may be coming to an end because of a recent cancer diagnosis. He said he decided to come forward with his story in the hope that it would inspire others to give.

On Wednesday, Stewart, dressed in white overalls, a red turtleneck and a red cap, visited a disabled Chicago police officer in Shorewood and then headed for Chicago's southwest side.

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