About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation was established in 2000 through the will of prominent businessman, sportsman, and philanthropist Jack Kent Cooke. A self-made billionaire, Mr. Cooke described himself as “an indomitable optimist” who always had a will to succeed. In his own life, Mr. Cooke overcame financial obstacles to achieve tremendous success.
When he died in 1997, Mr. Cooke left the bulk of his fortune to establish a foundation dedicated to supporting individuals of exceptional promise—those who work hard, stay focused, and defy the stereotype that poverty precludes high achievement.
Millions of low-income students in the United States meet these criteria but are largely underserved from the time they enter elementary school through post-secondary education. Believing that high-potential, low-income students will excel educationally when given the resources to develop their talents, the Foundation supports exceptional students from elementary school to graduate school through scholarships, grants, direct service, and knowledge creation and dissemination. Since opening its doors, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded $120 million in more than 2,000 scholarships and $76 million in grants to organizations that support our mission to advance the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need.