2Doing Good or Doing Great?

A Tale of Two Charities

In 1953, a former U.S. Naval Reserve officer and newspaper editor named W. McNeil Lowery took a job at the Ford Foundation. Launched by Ford Motor Company founders Edsel and Henry Ford, the Foundation's noteworthy achievements have included providing initial funding for the creation of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), helping launch the microloan movement of providing small loans to the global poor, helping launch civil rights groups like the Mexican American Legal Education and Defense Fund and the National Council of La Raza, and playing a major role in funding research to fight the AIDS epidemic.

But Lowery, whose personal background included contributing to and editing literary ...

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