Bradley Foundation

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Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
TypePrivate charitable foundation
HeadquartersMilwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Key people
Art Pope (Chairman)
Richard Graber (President and CEO)

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is an American charitable foundation with more than $800 million U.S. dollars in assets. It promotes American exceptionalism.[1][2]

The Foundation provides between $35 million and $45 million annually to a variety of causes, including cultural institutions, community-based nonprofit organisations in Milwaukee, and conservative groups. It has been particularly active in supporting education reform efforts, including school choice. Approximately 70% of the Foundation's giving is directed to national groups while 30% of the Foundation's giving is Wisconsin-based.[1]


The Foundation was established in 1942, shortly after the death of Lynde Bradley, in an attempt to preserve and extend the principles and philosophy of the Bradley brothers. The organization's credo is "the good society is a free society."[3]

In 1965, upon the death of Harry Lynde Bradley, twenty years after his brother, the Foundation expanded in size and began to concentrate on public policy.[4] The 1985 acquisition of the Allen-Bradley Company by Rockwell International Corporation resulted in a portion of the proceeds going into the expansion of the Foundation, which swelled its assets from $14 million to over $290 million.[5] In 1986, the Foundation gave away $23 million, more than it had in the previous four decades.[4]

The Bradley Foundation's former president, Michael S. Joyce, helped to create the Philanthropy Roundtable, a group of American philanthropists that, as of 2018, has 660 members (consisting of both individuals and organizations).[6]

Funding areas[edit]

The foundation describes itself as supporting limited government.[7] The New York Times described the Bradley Foundation as "a leading source of ideas and financing for American conservatives."[8]

In a 2018 interview, the Foundation's CEO Richard Graber described the Foundation's four major areas of funding as "constitutional order," education (in particular school choice), civil society, and arts and culture.[1] In the same interview, Richard Graber said that the foundation would deemphasize some topic areas on which it had previously made grants, including national security and foreign policy.[1] Between 2008 and 2011, the Bradley Foundation donated millions of dollars to three anti-Muslim groups: the David Horowitz Freedom Center (which received $4.2 million), Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy (which received $815,000) and Daniel Pipes' Middle East Forum (which received $305,000).[9] The foundation's funding was criticized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which described the grant recipients as an "Islamophobic network."[9]

Organizations awarded grants by the Foundation have included FreedomWorks,[10] Americans for Prosperity,[10] The Heritage Foundation,[11] the Hoover Institution,[11] the Black Alliance for Educational Options[11] and the SEED Foundation.[11]

Bradley Prize[edit]

The Bradley Prize is a 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. Winners [12] have included Fouad Ajami (2006), John Bolton (2007), Martin Feldstein (2007), Victor Davis Hanson (2008), Leonard Leo (2009), William Kristol (2009), Paul A. Gigot (2010), Jeb Bush (2011),[13] Edwin Meese III (2012), Roger Ailes (2013),[14] Paul Clement (2013), Mitch Daniels (2013), Yuval Levin (2013),[15] Kimberly Strassel (2014),[16] Ayaan Hirsi Ali (2015), Gary Sinise (2016),[17] Peter Berkowitz (2017), Charles R. Kesler (2018),[12] and Roger Kimball (2019). The Bradley Prizes for 2020 were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Nicksen, Carole (February 2, 2018). "Bradley Foundation CEO Richard Graber Talks Education Reform & the Foundation's New Strategic Plan". Milwaukee Magazine. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Priority Giving Areas". Bradley Foundation. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  3. ^ Gonzalez, George (2013). Energy and the Politics of the North Atlantic. SUNY Press. p. 147. ISBN 9781438447957.
  4. ^ a b John J. Miller (2003), "The Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation", in How Two Foundations Reshaped America, Philanthropy Roundtable
  5. ^ Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, The Bradley Brothers Archived 2011-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Philanthropy Roundtable: History". Philanthropy Roundtable. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  7. ^ Archived December 18, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Healy, Patrick; Davey, Monica (8 June 2015). "Behind Scott Walker, a Longstanding Conservative Alliance Against Unions (Published 2015)". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  9. ^ a b Annysa Johnson, Islamic rights group's report rips Bradley Foundation funding, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (September 20, 2013).
  10. ^ a b Bradley Foundation website Archived June 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b c d "Part1b" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-13. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
  12. ^ a b "The Bradley Prizes - Past Winners". The Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  13. ^ Rojc, Philip (June 4, 2018). "War of Ideas: Conservative Intellectuals Have a Friend in This Foundation". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  14. ^ Farhi, Paul (June 13, 2013). "Roger Ailes wows conservatives in accepting Bradley prize". Washington Post. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  15. ^ (13 June 2014)"Anti-Americanism Needs to Be Answered": Roger Ailes Gets Serious Slate. Retrieved 20 January 2014
  16. ^ "Strassel Wins Bradley Prize: 'Potomac Watch' columnist honored for journalistic excellence". The Wall Street Journal. May 22, 2014.
  17. ^ Bond, Paul (May 17, 2016). "Gary Sinise to Receive Bradley Award and $250,000 for His Charitable Foundation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Welcome To The Bradley Prizes". The Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation. Retrieved 11 December 2020.

External links[edit]