Henry G. Freeman Jr. Pin Money Fund
The Henry G. Freeman Jr. Pin Money Fund, is the operating name of an annuity fund of the Henry G. Freeman Jr. Trust, benefiting first ladies of the United States. Begun in 1912, as part of the will of Henry G. Freeman Jr., a prominent Philadelphia real estate developer.
Freeman believed that the U.S president was paid a "miserable pittance", and that a way of increasing his income while avoiding the appearance of political gifts was to institute an annuity to be paid "to the lady termed the first lady in the land; that is, the President of the United States [sic] wife, or anyone representing the president as such, should he not be married or should she die during his administration." Freeman's will specified that the money be for the first lady's "own and absolute use" and the payments "shall continue in force as long as this glorious government exists."
The fund became active in November 1989 during the administration of George H.W. Bush, but due to a court dispute the first payments were not made until December 1992. Barbara Bush received US $36,000.00 retroactively and donated a portion to her charity work, and spent an unspecified amount doing "something nice for my grandchildren." First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and First Lady Laura Bush have donated the payments to charity. The income is taxable, and the fund is overseen by Wells Fargo Bank.
- Yang, John. NBC News, May 18, 2007.