On January 15, 1936, Edsel Ford started the Ford Foundation. During its early years, the foundation operated in Michigan under the leadership of Ford family members and their associates, and supported such organizations as the Henry Ford Hospital, Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum, among others.
After the deaths of Edsel Ford in 1943 and Henry Ford in 1947, the presidency of the Ford Foundation fell to Edsel’s eldest son, Henry Ford II. Under Henry Ford II’s leadership, the Ford Foundation board of trustees commissioned a report to determine how the foundation should continue. The committee, headed by California attorney H. Rowan Gaither, recommended that the foundation should commit to promoting peace, freedom, and education throughout the world.
January 15, 1936 : Ford Foundation is born, History.com