Charles A. Dana (philanthropist)

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Charles A. Dana (1881-1975) was an American businessman, politician and philanthropist who founded the Dana Foundation and the Dana Corporation.


Charles A. Dana was born on April 21, 1881, in New York City to Charles Dana (1824-1906), a businessman and philanthropist originally from Brandon, Vermont, who worked with the Vanderbilt family until he retired.[1] Charles A. Dana received a B.A. and law degree from Columbia University and then became a prosecutor with the New York District Attorney's office. Dana first gained publicity for his work during the trial of the murderer of architect Stanford White in 1907.


Dana was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 27th D.) in 1910 and 1912. Dana allied himself with Governor Charles Evans Hughes and Theodore Roosevelt, eventually managing one of Roosevelt's campaigns.


In 1914, Dana entered the business world, leading Spicer Manufacturing and then in 1946 establishing the Dana Corporation, which produced automobile and mechanical parts.[2]


After acquiring a sizable fortune, Dana began donating large sums to hospitals and small universities, including Colby College, Bates College and Tufts University.

In 1950 Dana founded the Dana Foundation, which originally focused on higher education, later focusing on brain science and other scientific research on human health.[3]

To list of colleges add Davidson College. For verification see a Davidson College Catalog. There are 3 Dana Professors.


Charles A. Dana died in 1975 at age ninety-four, and was buried at the Pine Hill Cemetery in Brandon, Vermont.[2]


  1. ^ Obituary. New York Tribune, Jun. 6, 1906
  2. ^ a b "Tufts Digital Library". Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  3. ^ "Staffing Up | Excellence in Philanthropy". The Philanthropy Roundtable. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 

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