Henry Townley Heald

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Person.png Henry Townley Heald  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Henry Townley Heald.jpg
Died1975 (Age 70)
Member ofCouncil on Foreign Relations/Historical Members
President of the wealthy Ford Foundation

Henry Townley Heald was president of Armour Institute of Technology from 1938 to 1940, when it became Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). He is credited with bringing architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to Chicago in 1938 to direct IIT's architecture program. He led a team that investigated the idea of a research institute on the west coast and made proposals that would result in the creation of SRI International.

He left IIT in 1952 to become president of New York University and later, the Ford Foundation. He appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1957 for his work at the Ford Foundation. In the 1950s, the Ford Foundation, despite its intimate collaboration with the CIA, came under intense scrutiny by Communist-hunter Senator Joseph McCarthy, and received heavy criticism for allegedly funding projects soft on communism.

To counter McCarthy's allegations, the foundation put in a new president (Heald) and, in 1956, sold 22 percent of its Ford shares on the public market and awarded $550 million of the proceeds to 'noncontroversial' recipients such as 600 liberal arts colleges, 3,500 nonprofit hospitals, and 44 private medical schools[1].

The cooperation with the CIA continued unabated, and expanded to Europe, Africa, and Latin America, where former president H. Rowan Gaither Jr. continued as chairman.