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|Private charitable foundation|
David Vogel Uihlein, Jr.
Michael W. Grebe
President and CEO
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is an American conservative foundation with about half a billion US dollars in assets. According to the Bradley Foundation 1998 Annual Report, it gives away more than $30 million per year. The Foundation has financed efforts to support federal institutes, publications and school choice and educational projects. Since the 1980s and today the Bradley Foundation funds organizations which dismantle environmental regulations and funds educational programs directed to promote US military expenditures and actions. The Bradley for the "environment" foundation funds legal actions to block newly recognized endangered species from being registered.
The Foundation was established in 1942, shortly after the death of Lynde Bradley. However it was not until twenty years after the death of his brother Harry Lynde Bradley, in 1965, that the Foundation expanded in size and began to focus on public policy. This was followed by the 1985 acquisition of Allen-Bradley by Rockwell International Corporation, with a significant portion of the proceeds going into the expansion of The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which saw its assets rise from $14 million to over $290 million. In 1986 the Foundation gave away $23 million, more than it had in the previous four decades. Whereas in 1980 only 2.5% of grants were related to public policy, by 1990, under the leadership of Mike Joyce (formerly at the John M. Olin Foundation) it was 60%.
The organization was founded in an attempt to preserve and extend the principles and philosophy of the Bradley brothers. According to them, "the good society is a free society. The Bradley Foundation is likewise devoted to strengthening American democratic capitalism and the institutions, principles and values that sustain and nurture it."
The foundation supports limited government, conceived of as a dynamic marketplace where economic, intellectual, and cultural activity can flourish. It states that it defends American ideas and institutions. Next to that it recognizes that responsible self-government depends on informing citizens and creating a well informed public opinion. The foundation tries to accomplish that by financing scholarly studies and academic achievements, most especially by scholars coincidentally named Bradley.
The Bradley Foundation's former president, Michael S. Joyce, was instrumental in creating the Philanthropy Roundtable. The goal of the Roundtable's founders was to provide a forum where donors could discuss the principles and practices that inform the best of America's charitable tradition. Currently, there are more than 600 Roundtable Associates.
In the early 1990s the foundation helped support The American Spectator, which at the time was researching damaging material on President Bill Clinton. The Bradley Foundation has provided funding for the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). PNAC brought together prominent members of the George H. W. Bush administration, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz, in the late 1990s to articulate their neoconservative foreign policy, including sending a letter to President Bill Clinton urging him to invade Iraq.
Current members of the board of directors of the Bradley Foundation are:
- Terry Considine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AIMCO.
- David Vogel Uihlein, Jr., President of Uihlein-Wilson Architects, grandson of co-founder Harry Lynde Bradley.
- Michael W. Grebe.
- Robert P. George, 2005 Bradley Prize recipient, Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.
- Dennis J. Kuester, former Chairman and CEO of Marshall & Ilsley (1993-2010).
- Cleta Mitchell, Partner at Foley & Lardner.
- San W. Orr, Jr..
- Art Pope, President of Variety Wholesalers.
- Thomas L. Smallwood.
- Bob Smith, President of Messmer Catholic Schools.
- George Will, 2005 Bradley Prize recipient, Columnist for The Washington Post.
The Bradley Prize is a major grant to individuals who are "innovative thinkers". According to the foundation the Bradley Prize is to "formally recognize individuals of extraordinary talent and dedication who have made contributions of excellence in areas consistent with The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation’s mission." As many as four Prizes of $250,000 each are awarded annually. It has been described by some[specify] as a politically conservative leaning "Genius grant", like that given by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
These are among the grants awarded to organizations:
- John J. Miller (2003), "The Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation", in How Two Foundations Reshaped America, Philanthropy Roundtable
- Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, The Bradley Brothers
- [dead link]
- The Bradley Foundation Board of Directors
- http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/06/12/fox-news-chairman-ailes-remarks-on-winning-bradley-prize/?test=latestnews Fox News
- David Weigel (13 June 2014) "Anti-Americanism Needs to Be Answered": Roger Ailes Gets Serious Slate. Retrieved 20 January 2014
- http://www.bradleyfdn.org/pdfs/Grants2008/08EconomicGrowth.pdf Bradley Foundation website
- "part1b" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-10-22.
- "Bradley Foundation website, 2006 Annual Report, pg 33" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-10-22.