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Bernard Osher Foundation


Last profile update: 05/10/2017
Last grant data update: 01/01/2018

At A Glance

Bernard Osher Foundation

1 Ferry Bldg., Ste. 255

San Francisco, CA United States 94111-4243

Telephone: (415) 861-5587


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business; Politics; Other






Established in 1977 in CA - Founded by Bernard Osher, a founding director of World Savings, the second largest savings institution in the United States that merged with Wachovia Corporation. Mr. Osher, a patron of education and the arts, as well as a collector of American paintings of the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries, purchased the fine art auction house of Butterfield & Butterfield in 1970. He oversaw its growth to become the fourth largest auction house in the world and in 1999 he sold the company to eBay. His wife, Barbro Osher, is Consul General for Sweden in San Francisco, CA. She is the former owner and publisher of Vestkusten, one of the few Swedish-American newspapers in the United States. She is also the founder of the Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA) chapter in San Francisco, CA. Bernard and Barbro Osher have committed to The Giving Pledge, and have pledged to give away at least half their wealth to philanthropy

Purpose and Activities

The foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area and the state of Maine through post-secondary student scholarships and arts and humanities grants. It also supports selected programs in integrative medicine, as well as a national network of lifelong learning institutes for older adults.