The William T. Grant Foundation has been dedicated to supporting research in the social sciences since 1936.
William Thomas Grant was born in Stevensville, Pennsylvania in 1876. At age 30, Mr. Grant opened his first “W. T. Grant Co. 25 Cent Store” in Lynn, Massachusetts with $1,000 he had saved from his work as a salesman. The W. T. Grant stores, specializing in retail sales of small household wares, were earning almost $100 million a year in sales by 1936, the same year that Mr. Grant started the Grant Foundation. By the time Mr. Grant passed away in 1972, at age 96, his nationwide empire of W. T. Grant Stores had grown to almost 1,200. Just two years later, in 1974, the W.T. Grant Company declared bankruptcy. The Foundation rebounded from a significant reduction in assets during this same period, and by the mid-1980s, the Foundation had amassed $130 million in assets.
Mr. Grant retired from both the W. T. Grant Company and the Grant Foundation at age 90, yet still served in an honorary capacity until his death.
As Foundation president from 1998 to 2003, Karen Hein, M.D. led the Foundation as they shifted their focus to the positive aspects of youth development. Robert C. Granger, Ed.D. was appointed as Foundation president in 2003 and continues to concentrate Foundation resources on high-quality empirical studies and the bridging of research, policy, and practice.more » « less