For 25 years, Charlie Collier traveled the country, seeking donations for Harvard University, where he gained a national reputation in the field of family philanthropy. Now, he is speaking out, as much as he is able, on a topic even closer to his heart: Alzheimer's disease.
Five years ago, at age 60, Collier was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Though his speech and handwriting are somewhat impaired these days, Collier's intellect remains nearly as sharp as it was in 2001, when he published the groundbreaking book "Wealth in Families," now in its 11th printing.
Collier turns 65 this year and like many older baby boomers, ke knows that the word "Alzheimer's" sends chill down spines. Just as some families he counseled as Harvard's senior philanthropic advisor hated discussing money, many people do not want to talk about Alzheimer's.
"I am trying to get people to talk and ask me hard questions," he said, haltingly.