Jean I. & Charles H. Brunie Foundation



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2012):

Revenue: $413
Expenses: $365
Assets: $160,685





Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Jean I. and Charles H. Brunie Foundation was the philanthropic vehicle of Charles H. Brunie (1930-2017), the longtime chairman of Oppenheimer Capital investment advisors. Brunie was a trustee (and for a period the chairman) of the Manhattan Institute, a right-leaning think tank focused on urban policy, and was also a trustee of the right-leaning foreign policy think tank Hudson Institute. Brunie was Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman’s personal investment advisor and successfully built the endowment of the Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation (now called EdChoice).

Charles H. Brunie

Charles H. Brunie spent his career working for Oppenheimer & Co., where in 1969 he created and ran the Oppenheimer Capital division devoted to investment advisors. He left Oppenheimer in 2000 to become an independent investment advisor. He graduated from Amherst College in 1952 and told his fellow alumni his primary interests were “individual freedom; limited government; laissez faire and supply side economics plus monetarism.”[1]1

In 1980, Brunie became chairman of the Manhattan Institute, a position he held until 1990, when he became an emeritus trustee. At the institute, he created and funded the Brunie Fund For New York Journalism, which supported investigative journalism about New York City. In an appreciation, Myron Magnet, former editor of the Institute publication City Journal, recalled that Brunie’s philosophy in running a think tank was to “find very smart people who share your worldview, and let them choose their own issues.  Then you’ll come up with new and creative ideas, not dogma.” 2

Brunie also served as a trustee of the Hudson Institute. 3

In 2002, Brunie was an investor in the New York Sun, a center-right daily newspaper that folded as a newspaper in 2008 and was revived as a website in 2009. Other investors included Conrad Black, whose holding company Hollinger International invested $2 million for a 12.5 percent share of the enterprise, and Roger Hertog, who at the time was chairman of the Manhattan Institute. Brunie told the Chicago Tribune that he invested $1 million in the newspaper because “I have been involved in the free-market, limited-government movement for decades.” He said his million-dollar gamble made him a minor investor” in the newspaper. 4

Relationship with Milton Friedman

In a 2007 memoir, Brunie said that he had met Milton Friedman in 1968, when Oppenheimer placed Friedman on retainer as an adviser on economic trends. In the article, Brunie said he had personally managed Friedman’s investments “for more than three decades,” and that on a 1988 visit to Milton and Rose Friedman’s apartment in San Francisco, Milton Friedman said, “Welcome to the house that Chuck built.” The wealth Brunie helped create was left to the Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation (now known as EdChoice). 5

In 2005, Brunie chaired a dinner, which raised an additional million dollars for the Friedman Foundation, which had $4 million in assets at the time. William F. Buckley, Jr., who attended the dinner, wrote that “everything that Milton (Friedman) touches has the feel of his optimism, and Wednesday’s event was no exception.” 6

Jean I. and Charles H. Brunie Foundation

The Jean I. and Charles H. Brunie Foundation was Charles H. Brunie’s personal foundation, which generally gave to center-right nonprofits. In 2000, the Brunie foundation made $560,000 in grants, with the three largest grants to the Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation ($175,000), the Manhattan Institute ($75,000), and the National Center for Policy Analysis ($50,000). 7 By 2004, the Brunie Foundation’s grants fell to $360,000, with the three largest grants to the Friedman Foundation ($100,000), Amherst College ($60,000) and the Palmer R. Chitester Fund ($25,000). 8 The foundation spent itself out in 2012 with a terminal grant of $140,000 to the Committee To Reduce Infection Deaths. 92012 Brunie Foundation Form 990.


  1. “Charles H. Brunie, ’52,” Amherst College website, (accessed March 9, 2021)
  2. Myron Magnet, “The Intellectual Investor:  Charles H. Brunie, 1930-2017,” City Journal, Spring 2017, (accessed March 9, 2021).
  3. “Charles H. Brunie, Trustee Emeritus,” Hudson Institute website, (accessed March 8, 2021).
  4. Evan Osnos, “Backers Bet Sun Rises To Occasion,” Chicago Tribune, March 20, 2002.
  5. Charles H. Brunie, “My Friend, Milton Friedman,” City Journal, April 11, 2007, (accessed March 9, 2021).
  6. William F. Buckley, Jr., “Friedman Night,” National Review, June 18, 2005.
  7. 2000 Brunie Foundation Form 990.
  8. 2004 Brunie Foundation Form 990.
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 1987

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2012 Jun Form PF $413 $365 $160,685 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Jean I. & Charles H. Brunie Foundation

    GREENWICH, CT 06831