Theodore Luce Charitable Trust



New York, NY

Tax ID:


Budget (2021):

Assets: $11,947,809


Nonexempt Charitable Trust



Predecessor Organization:

Theodore Luce Foundation Inc.


JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Budget (2022):

Revenue: $655,000
Expenses: $890,000
Assets: $11,800,000



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The Theodore Luce Charitable Trust is a nonexempt charitable trust which allocates its philanthropic contributions to youth organizations located in New York City.


Theodore Luce was a 1920’s and Depression-era investment banker, automobile dealer, and New York City landlord. His early career was spent as a financier and director of public utility holding companies. 1

In 1917, Luce became Vice President of Halsey, Stuart and Company, a prominent investment banking firm. 2 Between 1908 and 1931, Halsey, Stuart and Company conducted approximately $2.3 billion worth of business with public utility holding companies throughout the Midwest and Northeast. 3

Luce was a director of W.S. Barstow and Company and General Gas and Electrical Corporation, which financed and managed 30 light, power, and gas companies in the northeastern United States. 4

In 1927, W.S. Barstow and Company merged with its subsidiary W.S. Barstow Management Association Inc. At that time, $4,000,000 of 6 per cent, sinking fund debentures, due in 1942, were sold to Halsey, Stuart and Company. 5

Two months before the 1929 crash, its directors sold W.S. Barstow and Company for $50 million to Samuel Insull whose holding company interests-controlled utilities in 32 states. 6 7 Insull’s empire collapsed during the Depression from losses sustained during the crash and subsequent legal investigations. 8

By 1930, consolidation of gas and energy companies into “vast utility empires” run by a handful of unstable holding companies threatened the nation’s power supply. The Public Utilities Holding Company Act (PUHCA) of 1935 ordered divestitures and split the nation’s electric and gas operations, placing regulatory authority with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The PUHCA remained in place until 1992 when the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) significantly loosened the grip of federal regulation. 9

Charitable Trust

Theodore Luce died on August 12, 1949. His will and two codicils were admitted to probate on February 27, 1950. The will, modified by the codicils, directed that the net investment income from his estate be allocated at the rate of $10,000 per year each to his wife and daughter with the remainder to be set aside in perpetuity for charity. His wife, daughter, and Chemical Bank New York Trust Company were named as trustees. 10 In 1951, the Theodore Luce Foundation Inc. was incorporated in Queens, New York. 11

The terms of the settlement were modified in 1952. The original will and codicils had allocated more than 50% of the estate to charitable purposes in violation of New York law. As a result, the sum of $200,000 and 43.02% was allotted to the charitable trust. 12

There were legal disputes in 1961 and 1962 between Chemical Bank and Luce’s daughter, the remaining original individual trustee after the death of Luce’s widow. The disputes concerned two corporations transmitted to the trustees as part of the original will. Chemical Bank demanded dissolution of the corporations alleging mismanagement and burden on the charitable beneficiaries of the trust. 13 The Bank eventually became sole trustee. 14

Chemical Bank acquired Chase Manhattan Corporation in 1996 and was itself acquired by JP Morgan in 2000. Throughout these transitions, each bank passed its trusteeship to its successor. 15 The present charitable trust was incorporated in 1973. 16


The Theodore Luce Charitable Trust awards general operating and program grants to New York City “programs for low-income youth that operate year-round and address the following: academics, personal and social competence, health and physical well-being, preparation for work, special interests and talents, leadership and citizenship and/or parent involvement.”  It accepts proposals by invitation only. In 2023, its grants included a first installment of $80,000 to Good Shepherd Services for general support; a final installment of $35,000 to Harlem Lacross for general operating support; and a first installment program grant to StreetSquash for the College Access, Success, and Alumni Support Program. 17


  1. The New York Times. “THEO~DORE LUCE DEAD; FINANCIAL ADVISER.” August 14, 1949, sec. Archives. Accessed December 1, 2023.
  2. The New York Times. “THEO~DORE LUCE DEAD; FINANCIAL ADVISER.” August 14, 1949, sec. Archives. Accessed December 1, 2023.
  3. The New York Times. “TimesMachine: Friday July 1, 1966 – NYTimes.Com.” Accessed December 1, 2023. http://timesmachine.nytimes.com
  4. Moodys Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities. Government, State and Municipal Supplement. Poor’s Publishing Company, 1920. Accessed December 2, 2023.
  5. The New York Times. “BARSTOW UNITS MERGE.; Public Utility Interests Now Plan to Enter Industrial Field.” Accessed December 2, 2023. http://timesmachine.nytimes.com
  6. Young, Joanna Tebbs. “William Barstow, Chittenden’s Electric Man.” Vermont When… (blog), June 18, 2014. Accessed December 3, 2023.
  7. Young, Joanna Tebbs. “William Barstow, Chittenden’s Electric Man.” Vermont When… (blog), June 18, 2014. Accessed December 3, 2023.
  8. Hoover, Gary. “From Hero to Hated: America’s Most Tragic Entrepreneur.” Archbridge Institute (blog), January 12, 2021. Accessed December 3, 2023.
  9. “Public Utilities Holding Company Act | Encyclopedia.Com.” Accessed December 2, 2023.
  10. vLex. “Luce’s Will, In Re.” Accessed December 1, 2023.
  11. New York Company Registry. “Theodore Luce Foundation Inc.” Accessed November 30, 2023.
  12. vLex. “Luce’s Will, In Re.” Accessed December 1, 2023.
  13. Leagle. “MATTER OF LUCE | 17 A.D.2d 636 (1962) | Ad2d6361403 | Leagle.Com.” Accessed December 4, 2023.
  14. vLex. “Luce’s Will, In Re.” Accessed December 1, 2023.
  15. “History of Our Firm.” Accessed December 3, 2023.
  16. Roberts, Andrea Suozzo, Alec Glassford, Ash Ngu, Brandon. “T 2961 Charitable Trust Uw T Luce, Full Filing – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013. Accessed November 30, 2023.
  17. “Theodore Luce Charitable Trust.” Accessed November 30, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: July - June
  • Tax Exemption Received: January 1, 1973

  • 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
    2021 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $11,947,809 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2020 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $11,880,163 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2016 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $10,904,537 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $10,866,782 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $10,097,643 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $9,513,977 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $9,300,549 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Jul Form PF $0 $0 $9,538,659 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Theodore Luce Charitable Trust

    10 S DEARBORN IL1-0111
    New York, NY 60603-2300