Skip to main content

J. Howard Pew papers

1902-1971
 Collection
Identifier: 1634

Abstract

J. Howard Pew (1882-1971) was president of one of the largest wholesale distributor of motor petroleum companies, the Sun Oil Company (now Sunoco) from 1912 to 1947. He was a prominent philanthropist. In 1948, Pew and his siblings co-founded The Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-profit, non-governmental organization with the purpose of serving the public. The J. Howard Pew papers are primarily concerned with Pew's political activities and philanthropy. The collection is arranged into seven series: Alphabetical general correspondence; Subject files; Presbyterian Church; Christian Freedom Foundation; Glenmede Trust Co.; Pew Memorial Foundation; and Grove City College.

Dates

  • 1902-1971

Creator

Extent

117 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

J. Howard Pew (1882-1971) was president of one of the largest wholesale distributor of motor petroleum companies, the Sun Oil Company (now Sunoco) from 1912 to 1947. He was a prominent philanthropist. In 1948, Pew and his siblings co-founded The Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-profit, non-governmental organization with the purpose of serving the public.

He was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, in 1882 to Joseph Newton Pew, Sr. (1848–1912) and Mary Catherine Anderson Pew (1850-1935). He attended Grove City College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From there he went to work for his father, Joseph N. Pew, Sr., the founder of the Sun Oil Company. He became a supervisor at the Marcus Hook Refinery where he was instrumental in developing the Sun Red Line lubricants. In 1906 he was named vice president and member of the board of directors. When his father died in 1912, he became president of the Sun Oil Company a position he was to hold until 1947.

J. Howard Pew was a prominent member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers. He served on the National Petroleum War Service Committee (1915-1918) and was a founder of the American Petroleum Institute.

Pew was an elder and trustee of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. He was an active supporter of the periodicals Christian Economics and Christianity Today. He was also a leader of the conservative Republican opposition to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.

Arrangement

Series I. Alphabetical general correspondence; Series II. Subject files; Series III. Presbyterian Church; Series IV. Christian Freedom Foundation; Series V. Glenmede Trust Co.; Series VI. Pew Memorial Foundation; Series VII. Grove City College.

Scope and Content

The J. Howard Pew papers are primarily concerned with Pew's political activities and philanthropy. Of particular interest are the letters which document Pew's activities in the American Liberty League, the Republican National Committee, and the National Association of Manufacturers. Political files include analysis of 1944 election, strategy for state and local elections and analyses of Democratic senators' voting records (1933-1938). Files on Communism include solicitations for the Russian government in exile and information collected by the National Council for American Education on the political activities of selected college professors during the 1940s and 1950s. Presbyterian Church files reflect the split in the church over integration, McCarthyism, and civil liberties. To buttress his campaign for conservativism within the church, Pew also sponsored research on the life of Calvin and Calvinism. There are also files from the National Council of Churches, Grove City College, United Presbyterian Foundation, and the Christian Freedom Foundation. Other files describe Pew's involvement with the Glenmede Trust Company and The Pew Memorial Trust. Files contain copies of applications and document awards made.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions for those conducting scholarly research.

Use Restrictions

Literary rights retained by depositor.

Related Material

Pew Charitable Trusts records (Accession 2020), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Subjects

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
J. Howard Pew papers
Status:
Online
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400