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.
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
summary published and distributed to the public
in 1950 recommended support for activities worldwide
Promise significant contributions to world peace
and the establishment of a world order of law and
• 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.
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.