Pew Memorial Trust

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PEW MEMORIAL TRUST, the largest of the seven Pew Charitable Trusts, is a private general-purpose foundation created in 1948 by the family of the Sun Oil Company founder Joseph Newton Pew (1848–1912). Six additional trusts were created over the next three decades, all managed together with coordinated grant-making programs. Based in Philadelphia, the Pew Charitable Trusts are among the nation's top ten foundations, with assets around $5 billion and annual grants of over $200 million. The trusts' program are as include culture, education, environment, health issues, public policy, and religion, and each gives annually between $20 and $50 million.

In the early years the Pew Memorial Trust's most active voice was the donor and trustee J. Howard Pew (1882–1971). His political and economic convictions were based on the notion of the indivisibility of freedom, that political, religious, and "industrial freedom" were linked. Under his leadership the trusts supported a wide variety of conservative political and religious interests, including Billy Graham Crusades, the journal Christianity Today, and a number of Christian colleges and seminaries, including Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. It was also active in support of African American higher education. In the 1970s and 1980s the Pew Charitable Trusts began actively supporting conservative think tanks, such as the American Enterprise Institution, that contributed

to the social and economic policies of the Reagan administration. It now supports a broad range of programs in education, the environment, health care, and religion.


Pew Charitable Trusts. Home page at

Smith, James Allen. The Idea Brokers: Think Tanks and the Rise of the New Policy Elite. New York: Free Press, 1991.

Fred W.Beuttler

See alsoPhilanthropy .