Prince Loved Books

Music Icon Funded and Supported Libraries Around The Country

In this Feb. 4, 2007 file photo, Prince performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl XLI football game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.Chris O'Meara / AP

It’s been more than two years since the untimely passing of legendary musician Prince and this June would have marked the icon’s 60th birthday. Much of Prince’s life and death remains a mystery, but a recent (and now deleted op-ed) published by Forbes has helped bring some new revelations about the discreet performer’s personal life, making him even more respected.

In July, Long Island University Post economist Panos Mourdoukoutas sparked controversy when he published a tweet stating, “Amazon should replace local libraries to save taxpayers money,” accompanied by a link to the article he penned for Forbes. Needless to say, his opinion was ill-received with many people jumping to the defense of local public libraries.

Amid all of the fury came a Twitter thread authored by Glitch CEO Anil Dash that highlighted how Prince had a deep appreciation for libraries. “Did you know: Prince would often get a library card for any places that he was going to be visiting for more than a few days in a row; library cards for Oakland, Baltimore and other cities were amongst his personal effects at Paisley Park when he passed away,” wrote Dash. 

While it’s hard to confirm what personal belongings of Prince were discovered, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched that he was a library aficionado. On April 21, 2016–the day that Prince died–WFPL published a story that revealed how he had once gifted a library in Louisville, Kentucky with a $12,000 donation. The library, dating back to 1905, was the first full-service free public library in the nation open to African-Americans and to be staff entirely by African-Americans as well.

Prince once donated $12,000 to a library in Louisville.–Courtesy Louisville Free Public Library via WFPL

“My understanding is he did it because of the historic significance of the library. I don’t know how he learned about it,” said Louisville Free Public Library Western branch spokesperson, Paul Burns in a statement to WFPL.

It’s safe to assume that Prince didn’t mind his tax dollars going toward local libraries.

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