Marquee Donors of Lafayette (Pennsylvania and New Jersey)

  • Local Projects
  • 1931

Fred Kirby was one of the founders of the F. W. Woolworth Company (predecessor to today’s Foot Locker). He revolutionized retail in America, introducing affordable fixed pricing across his 96 stores, which he merged into Woolworth’s in 1911 to create one of the biggest retailers in the nation. He got involved in philanthropy in 1931 via his F. M. Kirby Foundation, which has since been a force for social good in Pennsylvania and New Jersey (as well as a supporter of national organizations that reinforce free enterprise and individual liberty). The foundation’s nearly half-billion dollars of grantmaking over the years has built up colleges like Lafayette, churches, homeless shelters, YMCAs, and medical research facilities across its region.

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