History

The Fannie E. Rippel Foundation was established in the will of Julius S. (J.S.) Rippel in honor of his wife.  The Foundation has been in operation for more than 60 years since its first grants in 1953.

The Rippel Foundation was created with the legal mission to address the health and care needs of women and the elderly, those with cancer and heart disease, and the challenges facing our nation’s hospitals. In 2006, the Rippel Foundation Board of Trustees developed an evolved approach to this mission, focusing on transformative system-wide changes to improve the health of all people in the United States.  Learn about our mission.

Our Founder

Born in 1868 in Newark, New Jersey, J.S. Rippel began his financial career in 1887 with stockbroker and steamship agent Graham and Company. He started his own firm, J.S. Rippel and Company in 1891 when he was 22 years old. This company specialized in local investment securities and in New Jersey municipal bonds. Through his preeminence in the municipal bond market, J.S. Rippel and Company eventually financed most of the important cities and towns in New Jersey and became a prominent leader in many banking circles. By the mid-1920s, his net worth was estimated at $40 million ($545 million in today’s dollars)—almost all of which was lost in the Great Depression of 1929. A determined man, he set out to remake his fortune and had nearly done so by the time of his death. Mr. Rippel remained active as the head of his firm to the day he died.

When J.S. Rippel was 30 years old, he proposed to Fannie Estelle Traphagen, his former Sunday school teacher who was also from Newark. Mrs. Rippel is best remembered for her volunteer work for aged women at local hospitals and nursing homes. Eighteen years older than her husband, Mrs. Rippel died on February 5, 1943. His love and respect for his wife are evident in Mr. Rippel’s’ decision to create and name the Foundation in her honor.