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 THE FOUNDATION  |  RESOURCES 
THE FOUNDATION

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History

Creating a Foundation
The Ethel and W. George Kennedy Family Foundation, Inc., is a private family foundation, established over 40 years ago. In 1968, after the death of his wife Ethel, the founder, the late W. George Kennedy created the Foundation in her memory. During the course of their lifetimes, Ethel and George Kennedy were committed to improving the quality of life for those in Miami-Dade County through the work of such organizations as the American Cancer Society and the Easter Seals. Kennedy hoped that the creation of a foundation for charitable purposes would ensure the continuity of their vision and maximize the effectiveness of his ongoing philanthropic support.

Today, the Foundation is directed by four of their children; Karyn Kennedy Herterich, Kathleen Kennedy-Olsen, Kimberly Kennedy and Kendel Kennedy; and, by Guy Rizzo, a friend and business associate of George Kennedy’s, along with longtime family lawyer and friend, Martin J. Nash. In 2006, the first grandchild of the Kennedy’s became a full Board Member of the Foundation. A second sits on the Board as a Junior Associate Member and is beginning to learn about the philanthropic process.

Self Made
W. George Kennedy was a self-made man. Born in Canada, he came to Miami in the early 1920s and stuck it out through the city’s early boom and bust period. He made his fortune in land development, insurance and banking.

Ethel Malcomb Kennedy was born in Tennessee and moved to Miami as a child. She and George married in 1948 and for the next 19 years until her death in 1967 from cancer, she worked alongside George, helping to build and grow his businesses and raise their six children. The Kennedy’s also enjoyed participating in numerous charities together. They were some of the earliest supporters of a number of local non-profits, and up until two months before her death Ethel continued to carry out her philanthropic activities.

Setting a Standard
Subsequently, the spirit of service to the community through charitable giving and a strong sense of civic responsibility was instilled in all of the six Kennedy children from an early age. Ethel and George Kennedy’s children, adopted as babies, were educated in the role philanthropy plays in developing a civil society. What began as filling food packages, making clothing donations and working on fundraising committees grew into managing the Foundation when their father died in 1986 and has since developed into a family passion.


The current Board continues to honor the ideal of service to the community through charitable giving, established at the Foundation's inception.




Ethel Malcomb Kennedy
(1907-1967)



W. George Kennedy
(1901-1986)




The Kennedy Family, February 1958




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