Elsewhere online
May 10, 2013

Rockefeller Foundation Looks Forward and Back as It Hits 100

The Rockefeller Foundation, one of America's oldest major philanthropies, celebrates its 100th birthday this month with a new volume of history and a host of ambitious initiatives, the Associated Press writes.

The foundation was launched with a New York state charter on May 14, 1913, by America's first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller, and was for decades the country's biggest philanthropic organization, criticized in some circles as a front for U.S. corporate and security interests but also widely credited for financing major global advances in medicine and agriculture.

Now America's 16th-largest foundation as ranked by assets, Rockefeller frequently partners with other groups to pursue projects such as improving worldwide disease surveillance and strengthening cities' ability to withstand natural disasters.

Foundation President Judith Rodin credited the founding family with bequeathing the fund a broad, flexible mandate that gives it "the luxury and responsibility of picking the big, thorny problems, without worrying about offending governments or our donor base."