NY Philanthropist

  Astor Family
Carnegie Family
  The Ford Family
  Guggenheim Family
The Mellon Family
Rockefeller Family
Vander Starr Family
Lauder Family

  Philanthropy has played a crucial role in enhancing our world in many ways.
The Ford Family

The Ford family is another of the more prominent philanthropic families. The Ford Foundation, started by Edsel Ford in 1936, is one of the leading philanthropic organizations in the world. Since the founding charter stated that resources should be used "for scientific, educational and charitable purposes, all for the public welfare," the foundation made grants to many kinds of organizations.

After the deaths of Edsel Ford in 1943 and Henry Ford in 1947, it became clear that the nonvoting stock of the Ford Motor Company they bequeathed to the Ford Foundation would create the largest philanthropy in the world. In response, the foundation's board of trustees, led by Henry Ford II, Edsel's son, commissioned studies to chart the institution's future.

A summary published and distributed to the public in 1950 recommended support for activities worldwide that:

• Promise significant contributions to world peace and the establishment of a world order of law and justice.
• Secure greater allegiance to the basic principles of freedom and democracy in the solution of the insistent problems of an ever-changing society.
• Advance the economic well-being of people everywhere and improve economic institutions for the better realization of democratic goals.
• Strengthen, expand and improve educational facilities and methods to enable individuals to realize more fully their intellectual, civic and spiritual potential; to promote greater equality of educational opportunity; and to conserve and increase knowledge and enrich our culture.
• Increase knowledge of factors that influence or determine human conduct, and extend such knowledge for the maximum benefit of individuals and society.

Henry Ford II was a key figure in the foundation from 1943 to 1976. Serving variously as president, chairman and member of the board of trustees, he oversaw its transformation from a local Detroit foundation to a national and international organization. He sought in nearly every major decision to create an institution of the highest order to pursue innovative solutions to the problems of humankind.