Pfaffinger Foundation was established in Los Angeles in 1936 by Frank X. Pfaffinger who asked that it assist “needy employees and former employees of The Times Mirror Company,” and their families. The actual assistance program began nine years later, in 1945. Assisting eligible employees and retirees has remained the top priority and core program of Pfaffinger Foundation ever since. In 1947 the Foundation made its first community grant.
The Foundation steadily grew and provided assistance to a growing number of clients, with employees predominating.
Both Times Mirror and the resources of the Foundation had grown significantly. The Board of Directors extended Pfaffinger’s assistance beyond Los Angeles-based companies to all Times Mirror subsidiaries, mostly newspapers and other publishing companies in various parts of the U.S.
The Foundation’s programs were further professionalized with the hiring of its first licensed clinical social worker and the development of a staff of social work professionals.
Grant activity began to decline later in the decade, as positive economic factors and Times Mirror’s subsidiary divestitures reduced the number of employee applicants.
In 2000, Times Mirror was merged into Tribune Co. and effectively ceased to exist. The Pfaffinger Board of Directors determined that the Foundation would continue to serve eligible employees and retirees affiliated with the former Times Mirror subsidiaries. With ongoing downsizing, retirees passed employees as the largest client group. The Family Self Sufficiency Initiative was approved in 2001.
One major theme has dominated the recent history of Pfaffinger Foundation: the decline of the newspaper industry. Pfaffinger has assisted many laid-off employees and retirees who have struggled to pay for essential needs. The Foundation has worked to help retirees avoid premature institutionalization, if our assistance would allow them to live at home safely and with dignity. While the future of newspapers is a matter of real concern, Pfaffinger Foundation remains committed to assisting those who have been affected during this time of profound change.