US philanthropist Charles E. Merrill, Jr., dies at age 97

American philanthropist and educator Charles E. Merrill, Jr., has died at his home in southern Poland. He was 97.

The head of the Polish Literary Institute in Paris, Wojciech Sikora, citing close relatives, said Merrill died Wednesday.

Merrill was the son of Charles E. Merrill, one of the founders of the Merrill Lynch & Co. banking firm. He devoted his life to founding schools and supporting the education of the underprivileged in the U.S., Poland and the Czech Republic. He lived in Boston and in the Polish town of Nowy Sacz, where he and his wife Julie Boudreaux owned a modest apartment.

A farewell ceremony will be held Saturday in Nowy Sacz, and the burial will take place in the U.S., Sikora said.