Horace Rowan Gaither

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Person.png Horace Rowan Gaither  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(deep state functionary, lawyer, banker)
Horace Rowan Gaither.png
Died1961 (Age 52)
Cause of death
lung cancer
Member ofCouncil on Foreign Relations/Historical Members, RAND/Notable Participants
US deep state functionary who headed up the Ford Foundation 1953-56

Horace Rowan Gaither Jr., known as H. Rowan Gaither, was a San Francisco attorney, investment banker, and a powerful administrator at the Ford Foundation.


During World War II, he served as assistant director of the Radiation Laboratory at MIT. In 1948, he helped found the Rand Corporation and served as a trustee until 1959.

He was hired by Henry Ford II to help set the priorities of the Ford Foundation in 1947, chairing the study committee that wrote the "Report of the Study for the Ford Foundation on Policy and Program." He was later president of the Ford Foundation. Gaither expanded the Ford Foundation’s international programs to South Africa, Israel and Indonesia, working closely with the CIA, in the last case to aid the 1966 massacres. When the Foundation, despite its close connection to the CIA, was attacked by Senator Joe McCarthy for its funding policies, Gaither was moved over from president to chairman in the Foundation.

He was the author of the controversial 1957 Gaither Report, tasked by President Eisenhower, on the vulnerability of American defense. The report called for a fifty percent increase in US military spending, and among other things, an urgent strengthening of US missile technology and US offensive and defensive military capabilities.[1]

In 1958 and 1959, he served as the 1st Chairman of the MITRE Corporation Board of Trustees. From 1959 through his death, Gaither was a general partner and co-founder of Draper, Gaither & Anderson, one of the first venture capital firms on the west coast of the U.S., together with William H. Draper Jr., a retired Army general and Frederick L. Anderson, a retired Air Force general, indicating he was part of the revolving door in the military-industrial complex.

Educating a cadre of Modern Business Executives

Gaither believed that the social sciences could and should be mobilized to serve the nation, and that this required managers who understood these social sciences and could appreciate the possibilities of their applications. He told Stanford Business School in 1958 that "the Soviet challenge requires that we seek and use the best information of American management"[2]

Horace Rowan Gaither's influence, through the Ford Foundation, on the development of business and management studies and schools in the United States, is significant. A Foundation report in 1959 lamented an "appallingly low" level of acceptability among American business schools, a level that many schools did not in fact even reach.

Under Gaither's influence, Ford directed vast sums of money to top business schools to create centers of excellence, raising the intellectual and professional caliber of coming generations of managers and their teachers. In two decades, the number of business schools in the United States tripled, and the production of MBAs increased sharply as a result.


Gaither died of lung cancer in 1961.


  1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/subject/code/000101
  2. Rakesh Khurana, From Higher Aims to Higher Hands : The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 2007, p239-240