Charles Wyly Jr. (October 13, 1933 – August 7, 2011) was an American entrepreneur and businessman, philanthropist, civic leader, and a major contributor to Republican causes and Dallas art projects. This included $20 million to build a performing arts center in Dallas. In 2006, Forbes magazine estimated his net worth at $1 billion. His younger brother, Samuel Wyly, is nearly equal in wealth; the two brothers were close with their business affairs, and were often referred to as the "Wyly brothers". Together the brothers had donated almost $2.5 million to more than 200 Republican candidates and committees at the federal level over the past two decades.
Formative Years, Education, and Rise to the Top
Born during the Great Depression, Charles Wyly was a child when the collapsed economy forced the surrender of his family's cotton farm in Lake Providence, Louisiana. He and his younger brother went on to attend Louisiana Tech University in the 1950s, then went to work for IBM. Charles Wyly helped his brother, Samuel, run their startup computer software company, University Computing, and later founded and led several other companies including arts and crafts retail chain Michaels Stores Inc., which was sold in 2006. He also was a former member of the White House Advisory Council for Management Improvement. During their lifetime, the Wyly brothers together gave more than ninety million dollars to a wide range of charities.
Scandal and Controversy
In the summer of 2010, the Internal Revenue Service and Securities and Exchange Commission accused Wyly and his brother of using offshore havens to hide more than a half a billion dollars in profits over 13 years of insider stock trading and fraud. The brothers denied the claims and were fighting the allegations.
On Sunday, August 7, 2011, Wyly, who maintained a home in the rural town of Woody Creek  in Roaring Fork Valley near Aspen, Colorado, was turning onto a highway near the local airport when his Porsche was hit by a sport utility vehicle according to the Colorado State Highway Patrol. Wyly died later at Aspen Valley Hospital. Charles Wyly was survived by his wife Caroline “Dee” Wyly, brother Sam, four children and seven grandchildren.