Charles Lang Freer was born in Kingston, NY and made his fortune in Detroit in the railcar business. After retiring from business he dedicated the remainder of his life to collecting art, primarily American and Asian. Before his death, he bequeathed his collection to the Smithsonian along with one million dollars to construct the new building to house it, now know as the Freer Gallery of Art.
Additional biographical information about Charles Freer can be found at the following links and attached documents:
Wikipedia article of Charles Freer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lang_Freer
Article from "Hour Detroit" (PDF File) - http://www.hourdetroit.com/Hour-Detroit/February-2008/The-Legacy-of-Charles-L-Freer/