The Starr Foundation was established in 1955 by Cornelius Vander Starr, an entrepreneur who founded C.V. Starr Co. and other companies, some of which were combined under the leadership of Maurice R. Greenberg, Mr. Starr's successor, to become American International Group, Inc. (AIG). Mr. Starr, a pioneer of globalization, set up his first insurance venture in Shanghai in 1919. He died in 1968, leaving his estate to the Foundation.
Mr. Starr's wish was that his partners continue to run his foundation and his companies after his death. Mr. Greenberg built Starr and AIG into the largest insurance and financial services concerns in the world and continues to serve as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of C.V. Starr & Co., Starr International Co., Inc., and other Starr corporate entities.
Under Mr. Greenberg's leadership as Chairman of The Starr Foundation, the assets of the Foundation have grown from a few million dollars after Mr. Starr's death to around $1.5 billion today, making it one of the largest private foundations in the United States. Since 1955, the Foundation has made more than $3.3 billion in grants worldwide, more than $2.2 billion of which was paid to organizations in New York City and State.
The Foundation's primary areas of giving are medicine and healthcare, education, human needs, and international relations. The Foundation has also made substantial grants in the areas of culture and the environment. The Foundation has endowed C.V. Starr Scholarship Funds and Maurice R. Greenberg Scholarship Funds at more than 150 colleges and universities and selected secondary schools around the world.