HISTORY & GENERAL PURPOSES

The John M. Olin Foundation, Inc. was established in 1953 by John Merrill Olin (1892-1982), inventor, industrialist, conservationist and philanthropist. Mr. Olin was committed to the preservation of the principles of political and economic liberty as they have been expressed in American thought, institutions and practice.

Accordingly, the general purpose of the John M. Olin Foundation is to provide support for projects that reflect or are intended to strengthen the economic, political and cultural institutions upon which the American heritage of constitutional government and private enterprise is based. The Foundation also seeks to promote a general understanding of these institutions by encouraging the thoughtful study of the connections between economic and political freedoms, and the cultural heritage that sustains them.

John Olin did not intend for his foundation to exist in perpetuity, but rather to close its doors by the time those trustees who best knew his philanthropic ideals had retired.   Following the death in 2000 of William E. Simon, whom Mr. Olin had chosen in 1977 to be President of his Foundation, the Board of Trustees began to implement a plan to phase out the Foundation over the next few years.

Given the large number of pledges the Foundation must still fulfill and the Board of Trustees’ desire to sustain certain core programs past the date of the Foundation’s termination, the Foundation regrets it can no longer consider unsolicited proposals.

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