About the Dean Witter Foundation

It is the policy of The Dean Witter Foundation to support specific wildlife conservation projects and seminal opportunities to improve and extend environmental education. The Foundation makes additional grants to launch and expand innovative K-12 public education initiatives.

We encourage prospective applicants to telephone or write the Administrative Director to determine whether their proposed program falls within the Foundation's areas of interest and grantmaking priorities.


Dean Witter

Dean Witter was born in Wausau, Wisconsin in 1887. He moved to California with his family in 1891, and after purchasing country land tracts in various areas of the state, the family moved to San Carlos on the Peninsula and eventually settled in Berkeley.

Dean Witter graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1909, and from 1909 worked for Louis Sloss & Company as a salesman on the California coast. With Charles Blyth he started Blyth, Witter & Company in 1914 and the two men ran the company until 1924, when he launched Dean Witter & Company with his brother Guy, cousins Jean and Ed Witter and their brother-in-law, Fritz Janney.

The San Francisco office of Dean Witter, located at 45 Montgomery Street, was company headquarters; the business expanded greatly over the years, partly through mergers. At the time of Witter's death in 1969 there were nearly 80 branches of Dean Witter & Co. in the U.S. and Canada and the company was the largest investment house on the West Coast.

Dean Witter interrupted his career to volunteer for duty in both World War I and World War II, during which he attained the rank of colonel.

During Dean Witter's lifetime, he found recreation in hunting and fishing and in enjoyment of the outdoors. In business and as a fisherman, Colonel Witter enjoyed pursuing the difficult task. He preferred the elusive trout to the easy fishing of a well-stocked pond. In this spirit, The Dean Witter Foundation seeks to practice imaginative grantmaking in the fields of education and conservation.