Freedom Forum Founded
The Freedom Forum succeeded the Frank E. Gannett Newspaper Foundation, established in Rochester, New York, in 1935, with 1,500 shares of Gannett Company stock. Its mission included “absolute freedom of expression.”
After Al Neuharth became Gannett’s CEO in 1973, the company grew to the nation’s largest newspaper chain. The foundation also grew. From 1977 through 1989, grants for journalism education, non-profit and professional organizations, diversity, and other initiatives totaled nearly $27 million, more than $72 million in 2021 dollars.
In 1991, the foundation sold its Gannett stock to become The Freedom Forum, fostering First Amendment freedoms from its headquarters in Arlington, Va., overlooking Washington, D.C.