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The Ford Foundation is a New York headquartered, globally oriented private foundation with the mission of advancing human welfare. Created in 1936 by Edsel Ford and Henry Ford, it was originally funded by a US$25,000 gift from Edsel Ford By 1947, after the death of the two founders, the foundation owned 90 percent of the non-voting shares of the Ford Motor Company. (The Ford family retained the voting shares.) Between 1955 and 1974, the foundation sold its Ford Motor Company holdings and now plays no role in the automobile company. For years, the foundation was the largest, and one of the most influential foundations in the world, with global reach and special interests in economic empowerment, education, human rights, democracy, the creative arts, and Third World development.
The foundation makes grants through its headquarters and ten international field offices. For fiscal year 2014, it reported assets of US$12.4 billion and approved US$507.9 million in grants