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Profile Last Updated: 09/04/2018 Grant Information Last Updated: 05/08/2019

John & Mary R. Markle Foundation

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Purpose and Activities

The mission of the foundation is to use emerging communication and information technologies to address critical public needs, with emphasis on health, and national and economic security.


Incorporated in 1927 in NY - John Markle was born in Hazleton, PA, the son of an anthracite operator, inventor, and financier. He grew up in coal country and studied mining engineering at Lafayette College, from which he graduated in 1880. That same year he was called on to manage the family enterprises when his father became ill. He served successfully as director of George B. Markle and Co. for nearly fifty years and was known throughout the coal industry for his extensive reclamation of mines inundated by the great flood of 1886. John Markle believed that a man who has funds beyond those needed for living expenses becomes "a trustee for his fellow man and should so use those funds." When he and Mrs. Markle, the former Mary E. Robinson, moved to New York City in 1902, he devoted himself to philanthropy as well as to his business interests. The Markle Foundation's first major interest was in traditional social welfare. Its second program, begun in 1936, centered on medicine and provided small grants-in-aid for individual research projects. In 1947, the foundation created the Markle Scholars-in-Medicine program in response to a need for more teachers, researchers, and administrators in the nation's medical schools. This program awarded grants to gifted practitioners planning to further their careers in academic medicine. The foundation began seeking new approaches to "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge" when it decided in 1969 to focus on mass communications in a democratic society. Emerging information and communication technologies possess enormous potential to improve people's lives. Markle works to realize this potential and to accelerate the use of these technologies to address critical public needs, particularly in the areas of health and national security.


John & Mary R. Markle Foundation

Independent foundation



Bridge Number



10 Rockefeller Plaza New York City, NY United States 10020

Contact Information