Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

One of the country's largest and most influential right-wing foundations, the Bradley Foundation is known for its clearly articulated political and ideological vision. In addition to providing funding for a host of right-wing organizations, Bradley contributes to conservative and often highly controversial scholarship, publications and "academic" research aimed at legitimizing far-right policy positions.

Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
PO Box 510860
Milwaukee, WI 53203-0153

Established: 1942
President/CEO: Michael W. Grebe
Board of Directors: Thomas L. Rhodes (Chairman), Reed Coleman (Vice-Chairman), Michael Grebe, William L. Armstrong, and more.
Finances: $665,329,753 (2004) assets
Grants awarded, annually: $33,332,537 (2004) grants awarded
Employees: 20
Publications: The Lion Letter, annual reports outlining contributions and donations
Formerly known as: Allen-Bradley Foundation
Prize Recipients 2005: George F. Will (syndicated columnist), Ward Connerly (anti-affirmative action, founder of American Civil Rights Institute), Heather McDonald (Olin fellow at the Manhattan Institute), and Robert P. George (professor, former presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights).

Principal Issues

  • The Bradley Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic foundations responsible for the financial backing of the right-wing agenda for nearly twenty years.
  • Bradley's philanthropy supports right-wing organizations, privatized educational programs, as well as many non-partisan social programs and civic organizations.
  • Issues Bradley supports include: private school vouchers, faith-based social services, and welfare reform.
  • According to Bradley, the projects sponsored by the foundation "encourage improved government, a more vital sense of citizenship, and a strong belief in personal responsibility."
  • Bradley has been accused of underreporting the grant amounts that it gives to many of the right-wing organizations that it supports.


  • Bradley has made right-wing inroads in academia by establishing chairmanship positions, undergraduate and graduate programs, fellowships, and whole departments at many prestigious universities including: Boston College, Boston University, Bowling Green State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Catholic University, Columbia University, Georgetown University, George Mason University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Kenyon College, Marquette University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, New York University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California- Berkeley, University of California- Los Angeles, University of California- San Diego, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin, and Washington University- St. Louis.
  • Bradley has supported and in some cases, had to defend controversial right-wing recipients of their grants, particularly Charles Murray and Dinesh D'Souza.
    Charles Murray - Murray, author of "The Bell Curve," which argues that intelligence is predicated on race, and "Losing Ground," whose thesis is that social programs should be abolished. Murray's work was so controversial and objectionable that the right-wing Manhattan Institute, supported by Bradley and for which he worked, asked him to leave. However, the Bradley Foundation stood by him because Murray, according to former Bradley President Michael Joyce, "is one of the foremost social thinkers in the country." Bradley extended Murray's $100,000 per year grant when he went to the American Enterprise Institute.
    Dinesh D'Souza - D'Souza, in his book, "The End of Racism," attempts to absolve Whites from discrimination against Blacks during slavery, claiming that Blacks were too uncivilized to be a part of society anyway.

List of Right-Wing Grantees

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
American Civil Rights Institute
American Civil Rights Union
American Conservative Union Foundation
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Becket Fund
Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO)
Capital Research Center
Center for Individual Rights
Center for Education Reform
Center for Public Justice
Center for the Study of Popular Culture
Children's Educational Opportunity Foundation America
Citizens for the Preservation of Constitutional Rights
Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy
Collegiate Network
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Empire Foundation for Policy Research
Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Equal Opportunity Foundation
Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Friends of Choice in Urban Schools
Free Congress Research and Education Foundation
Galen Institute
Heartland Institute
Heritage Foundation
Hudson Institute
Hoover Institute
Institute for American Values
Institute for Justice
Leadership Institute
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
National Association of Scholars
National Center for Policy Analysis
Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy
Thomas B. Fordham Institute

President Bush on the Bradley Foundation

"The reason that I am so happy that my friend Mike Grebe is here and Mike Joyce and others from The Bradley Foundation is because "Foundation America" must be a part of the revitalization of our communities as well. And The Bradley Foundation has always been willing to see different solutions. They have been willing to challenge the status quo. They say where we find failure, something else must occur. And the Foundation not only has been kind and generous with its donations, the Foundation also has been willing to help people think anew, and I appreciate you all coming. I am honored you're here and thanks for your good work."
– President George W. Bush,speaking at the Bradley Foundation-supported Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ, Milwaukee, July 2002.

Updated: September 2006

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