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KCTS 9 Supporter and Friend Floyd Jones Passes Away

The Seattle philanthropist passed away on Friday at the age of 90.

January 5, 2018

Floyd Jones smiles at a June, 2017 reception held in his honor by KCTS 9.As a young boy, Floyd Jones — the son of a sharecropper — worked in the cotton fields of Arkansas and dreamed about a better life.

“There was hardly anybody more poor than we were,” Jones once said. “But I feel good about life. And if I had to do it over again — so help me — I’d do it the same way. Even the cotton picking.”

Floyd Jones passed away Friday morning, surrounded by his family. His dream of a better life came true. He leaves behind a tremendous legacy of giving.   

Floyd Jones worked his way out of poverty and became a wealthy Seattle stockbroker. He and his wife Delores created a foundation that funded education, health care, food banks and social justice.

Delores passed away in 2005. In her memory, Floyd increased his philanthropy to honor the causes and organizations she valued most. Both were strong supporters of KCTS 9 and PBS.

I feel good about life. And if I had to do it over again — so help me — I’d do it the same way. Even the cotton picking.

Jones turned 90 in October.  Like his old friend, Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, he decided to give away most of his fortune to leave a legacy of philanthropy in hopes that others will do the same.

Last year, he made legacy gifts to more than 20 nonprofit organizations. Each will receive millions of dollars through an endowment fund to carry on their work.

Attendees wore buttons that said “I heart Floyd” at a reception held in his honor by Cascade Public Media on Thursday. June 1, 2017. Credit: Matt McKnight

KCTS 9 is receiving $9 million dollars to create quality local journalism.

Jones believed it was critical that the public have access to a reliable news source and high-quality educational programming. By announcing the endowment, Jones hoped to inspire others to invest in public media.

“Floyd was one of our region’s true heroes,” said Rob Dunlop, Cascade Public Media President and CEO. “We are grateful to have known this giant of a man.  He lived a life that put others first, using his success to support organizations throughout our region in profound ways that will have an enduring legacy for all of us.”

Floyd Jones was fond of saying that “philanthropy is sweetness for the soul.” 

“Neither my wife, nor I, ever thought we would do big charity. Nothing could please me more than that, because this is how I used to daydream as a boy.” 


Enrique Cerna

The son of Mexican immigrants, Enrique Cerna was born and raised in the Yakima Valley.  Enrique joined KCTS 9 in January, 1995. He has anchored current affairs programs, moderated statewide political debates, produced and reported stories for national PBS programs in addition to local documentaries on social and juvenile justice, the environment and Latinos in Washington State.

Enrique has earned nine Northwest Emmy Awards and numerous other honors. In June, 2013, he was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Northwest Chapter’s Silver Circle for his work as a television professional.

More stories by Enrique Cerna