The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. This has been the case since the Foundation was founded in 1953. Archibald (Archie) and Edyth Bush set up the Foundation with few restrictions, ensuring that board and staff members through the years would have the flexibility needed to meet the challenges of the day. This ultimately set the stage for some of the Foundation’s highest impact work.

Archibald Bush

Archie and Edyth: The Beginnings of the Bush Foundation
(60-year anniversary video)

The Story of Archibald Bush

A native of Granite Falls, Minnesota, Archie began his career as a bookkeeper with a small company based in Duluth, Minnesota. He rose up through the ranks over the years, helping to shape it into the innovative multinational firm known today as 3M. With no children of their own to inherit their estate, Archie and Edyth established the Foundation with an original investment of 3M stock.

Though a hard business man and administrator when the situation demands, Mr. Bush is extremely sensitive to other people and their needs and problems. This, together with his ready smile and fine sense of humor, are personal traits that have endeared him to 3Mers everywhere.

3M biography, 1959

Archibald and Edyth Bush standing in a garden

Archibald and Edyth Bush at their home in Winter Park, Florida, a community they generously supported during their lifetimes and beyond.

Over the next several decades, Foundation board and staff members supported a range of initiatives including education, Native nation building, community problem solving on issues important to people throughout the region, and leadership development through the Foundation’s flagship Bush Fellowship program. The Foundation also has a deep commitment to equity, including racial equity, and brings that to life through every aspect of its grantmaking and operations, while advancing its purpose and values.


ArchiE's Legacy

The Foundation’s programs and tactics have changed and evolved through the years, but the work has always been rooted in supporting the organizations and people in the region – Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations sharing that geography – to think bigger and differently about what is possible in their communities.

In the death of Archibald Bush, Minnesota loses a foremost citizen, a public and private benefactor of singularly open purse, great heart and discerning mind, a man who believed that the possession of honestly-earned wealth brought an increase to its holder of responsibility to human society.

Mesabi Daily News

Archibald Bush holding a gift

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