King of the Endowments  | American Journalism Review
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From AJR,   May 1999

King of the Endowments   

Maxwell King takes his public service calling in a different direction: The former Philadelphia Inquirer editor becomes executive editor of the philanthropic Heinz Endowments.

By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (robertson.lori@gmail.com), a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      



Maxwell King takes his public service calling in a different direction: The former Philadelphia Inquirer editor becomes executive director of the philanthropic Heinz Endowments. "I think that most of the people I know who go into journalism, the concept of public service was a strong motivator in leading them to journalism. And the Heinz Endowments is pure public service," he says. The Pittsburgh-based philanthropies, the Howard Heinz Endowment and the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, focus their work mostly in Pennsylvania and in five areas: arts and culture; children, youth and families; economic opportunity; education; and the environment. With assets of about $1.5 billion, they approved $69 million in grants in 1998. King, most recently an Inquirer associate editor, says the two major points of emphasis for the foundations are aiding the disadvantaged and the environment. "Those are the two I've always cared the most about." King, 55, joined the Inquirer as a GA reporter in 1972, climbing the ranks to serve as editor from 1990 to 1998. Teresa Heinz , chairman of the Howard Heinz Endowment, says King's experience as a journalist helped make him an attractive candidate. "It's always very good," she says, to add key people who look at the world through "a different lens."

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