Key Details to Understand About the Himan Brown Charitable Trust



While the iconic radio dramas of the 1930s and 1940s may be a relic of the past, some might argue that the modern podcast—including shows like Serial—has taken their place, and also taken them to the next level of entertainment. Radio pioneer Himan Brown, the creator of Dick Tracy and other popular radio dramas, might not have predicted the current popularity of this evolving art form, but the fortune he earned from radio is still relevant today. This is because he left the bulk of his estate to the Himan Brown Charitable Trust, a grantmaking entity that’s supported many nonprofits in New York City and beyond.

A Bit of History on the Trust

This trust was established in 2010, and maintains a very low profile, with no website or substantial details available to the public. Furthermore, Brown’s fortune has been hotly contested in recent years because he left most of his $100 million estate to a trust under the control of his lawyer. After his 2010 death at the age of 99, Brown’s heirs filed a lawsuit for control over his money. However, Brown’s lawyer said that his client wanted to keep his wealth separate from his family due to issues with his son, and that he was in a sound mental state to make that decision before his death.

The Trust is Based in New York

New York was important to Brown, as he moved into an apartment at 285 Central Park West in the late 1930s and lived the rest of his life there. According to recent tax records, the Himan Brown Charitable Trust is currently based in New York City with a headquarters in Times Square. Over the years, the trust has awarded numerous grants to prominent local organizations in the New York area, including UJA Federation of New York, New York Presbyterian Fund, Central Synagogue, Central Park Conservancy, and Syracuse University.

However, the trust does not appear to be exclusive to this region, as it has also awarded grants to the University of Michigan Law School and groups in South Florida, too.

Interests Are Education, Health, Culture, and Jewish Causes

It can be difficult to ascertain exactly where the trust’s priorities currently lie since only limited information is available about this grantmaker. However, it has steadily provided support to education, health, cultural groups and Jewish causes in recent years. It may surprise some grantseekers to learn, however, that the trust does not really place a high priority on funding the arts or radio programming in particular.

Check out IP’s full profile of the Himan Brown Charitable Trust to learn more about this funder’s local giving and how to get in touch with general questions.