Edward E. Ford, the founder and sole donor of The Edward E. Ford Foundation, was born on April 23, 1894 in Binghampton, New York. He was the son of A. Ward Ford, who founded and developed a manufacturing business in Binghamton which ultimately became a part of International Business Machine Corporation.
Mr. Ford was educated at the Mercersburg Academy and Princeton University. Over the course of his life, he served IBM in various capacities and was also engaged in a number of independent business enterprises in St. Louis and Florida. For many years and until the time of his death, he was a member of the Board of Directors of IBM.
Mr. Ford established The Edward E. Ford Foundation with a relatively small gift in 1957, but the Foundation really commenced operation some three years later when he transferred a much more substantial amount of property to it, rounded out its Board by the appointment of several additional members, and began to work actively with the Board to develop a program directed towards his major objective of improving the quality of secondary schooling focusing exclusively on independent education.
Mr. Ford’s active participation was abruptly terminated by his unexpected death on March 6,1963. By terms of his will, a major portion of his entire fortune passed to the Foundation.