Foundation History

Carnegie Corporation of New York, which was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding,” is one of the oldest, largest and most influential of American grantmaking foundations.

Some notable contributions of Carnegie Corporation include:

  • expansion of U.S. higher education and adult education
  • advancement of research on learning and cognitive development in early childhood
  • promotion of educational and public interest broadcasting 
  • advancement of minorities and women in precollege and higher education
  • heightening public understanding of the education and health needs of children and adolescents
  • investigation of risks of superpower confrontation, nuclear war, and ethnic and civil strife

Since its establishment in 1911, Carnegie Corporation has helped establish or endowed a variety of institutions, including 2,509 Carnegie libraries in the United States and abroad, the National Research Council, the Russian Research Center at Harvard, and the Children's Television Workshop. During Carnegie Corporation’s early years, support was provided to other philanthropic organizations created by Andrew Carnegie: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Carnegie Corporation of New York has funded the publication of books and studies, as well as the organization of conferences and international exchanges, radio shows, legal proceedings and other activities. Through its activities, the Corporation has had a great impact on the information and knowledge available to citizens and government alike. Its work and that of its grantees has exerted a substantial influence on public discourse and policy.