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The Will, Cover to Cover

  • Jack Kent Cooke's Will (1988)
  • First Codicil (1989)
  • Second Codicil (1991)
  • Third Codicil (1991)
  • Fourth Codicil (1993)
  • Fifth Codicil (1993)
  • Sixth Codicil (1995)
  • Seventh Codicil (1996)
  • Eighth Codicil (1997)

    Go to Jack Kent Cooke Special Section

    Read recent Post coverage of Cooke.
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    Jack Kent Cooke's Will: Index Page

    Jack Kent Cooke's will was filed May 7 in Fauquier County Circuit Court. The will's major legal feature is the creation of a foundation to award scholarships to promising young people and start a school for underprivileged children. The foundation will receive the majority of Cooke's money, estimated at several hundred million dollars.

    In addition to the foundation bequest, the 1988 will and its eight amendments also reflect Cooke's turbulent personal life. About three months before he died, Cooke changed his will to disinherit his fourth wife, Marlene Ramallo Cooke, once designated to receive a $5 million gift and a $10 million trust. Cooke disinherited second wife Jeanne Maxwell Cooke and third wife Suzanne Elizabeth Martin but did provide for the 8-year-old daughter he had with Martin.

    Following is the full text of Cooke's will and amendments, which washingtonpost.com has indexed to show bequests over the last 11 years to the foundation, relatives and friends. Clicking on a link will take you directly to the relevant part of the will. Use your browser's Back button to return to this index page.

    Credits:
    Online Producers: Bill Frischling and Sascha Segan
    Editor: Mary Lou Fulton

    From the Post
  • Cooke marries Marlene in 1990.
  • In 1990, Marlene has a run-in with the law.
  • In 1993, Marlene is arrested for drunk driving.
  • In 1994, a judge threw out the DUI charge.
  • Cooke remarries Marlene in 1995.
  • Marlena (also known as Marlene) Chalmers (fourth wife)

  • Designated to receive $500,000 outright (1993)
  • Her sons designated to receive $5,000 each (1993)
  • Disinherited, along with her sons (1993)
  • Her mother, Edna Neves, designated to receive $250,000 trust (1995)
  • Designated to receive $5 million over five years and a $10 million trust (1996)
  • Her son Alex designated to receive $1 million trust (1996)
  • Mother Edna Neves dies; gift revoked (1996)
  • Designated to receive access to Jack's library (1996)
  • All bequests, to her and her sons, revoked (1997)
  • Access to Jack's library revoked (1997)

    From the Post
  • Cooke acknowledged Jacqueline as his daughter in 1989.
  • Jacqueline's child support payments were the subject of a bitter court battle.
  • Jacqueline Kent Cooke (daughter, now age 8)
  • Acknowledged as one of three legitimate children (1988)
  • Designated to receive $1 million trust (1988)
  • Jack Kent Cooke establishes bank account in Jacqueline's name (1991)
  • Assured of court-mandated support payments (1991)
  • $1 million trust increased to $5 million (1996)
  • Support payments eliminated in favor of trust (1996)

    From the Post
  • Jack and Suzanne's marriage ended in rancor.
  • Jack filed for divorce after three months of marriage.
  • Suzanne Elizabeth Martin (third wife and mother of Jacqueline)

  • Disinherited (1988)
  • Stripped of control over daughter Jacqueline's money (1991)
  • Disinherited again (1993)

    From the Post
  • Jack and Jeanne were married for only ten months.
  • Jeanne Maxwell Cooke (second wife)
  • Designated to receive $300,000 trust and cars (1988)
  • Disinherited (1996)

    John Kent Cooke (son)
  • Acknowledged as one of three legitimate children (1988)
  • Designated to receive clothing, watch, silver, car (1988)
  • Designated to receive $50 million trust (1988)
  • Designated to run Redskins (1988)
  • Made executor (1988)
  • Silver now to be split between John and brother Ralph (1989)
  • $50 million trust reduced to $10 million (1993)
  • Designated to receive $15 million outright (1993)
  • Previous cash bequests revoked; designated to receive $10 million over five years and $15 million trust (1996)
  • Designated to become President of the Redskins (1996)
  • Shares access to Jack's library with Marlena (1996)
  • Gets sole access to Jack's library (1997)

    From the Post
  • Ralph's son, Jack II, died of liver disease in 1989.
  • Ralph died of liver failure in 1995.
  • In 1997, Jack sold Elmendorf Farm, Ralph's former inheritance.
  • Ralph Kent Cooke (son)
  • One of three legitimate children (1988)
  • Designated to receive car and artwork (1988)
  • Designated to receive $50 million trust (1988)
  • Designated to run Elmendorf Farms (1988)
  • Made executor (1988)
  • $50 million trust reduced to $10 million (1993)
  • Ralph Kent Cooke dies (1996)

    Anita Cooke (daughter-in-law; survived Ralph)

  • Designated to receive $2 million trust (1996)

    Harold Cooke (brother)

  • Designated to receive $250,000 outright (1988)
  • Designated to receive $1 million trust (1997)

    Donald Ralph Cooke (brother)

  • Designated to receive $100,000 outright (1988)
  • Designated to receive $1 million trust (1988)

    Thelma Marion Franks (sister)

  • Designated to receive $100,000 outright (1988)
  • Designated to receive $1 million trust (1988)

    Bequests to Miscellaneous Relatives

  • Brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews designated to receive varying funds (1988)
  • Grandchildren designated to receive $1 million trusts; nieces and nephews to receive $500,000 trusts (1996)

    Bequests to Employees and Friends

  • Employees to receive between $5,000 and $25,000 (1988)
  • Executors of estate named (1988)
  • Executors of estate revised (1993)
  • Executors of estate revised (1996)

    Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

  • Designated to receive remainder of estate (1988)
  • Scholarships designated for postgraduate students (1988)
  • Scholarships designated for high school and college students; orphanage to be created; sports facilities to be established for underprivileged children (1993)

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