Tom Ford

Philanthropist

Emmett Carson

A long-time philanthropist, Tom Ford established the Sand Hill Endowment Fund to leave a legacy of giving and community support in Silicon Valley. Since its inception in 1996, the fund has been the source of $55 million to Silicon Valley Community Foundation and our parent foundation, Peninsula Community Foundation, and has resulted in substantial and lasting benefits in our community.

Born March 23, 1921, in Youngstown, Ohio, Thomas W. Ford was a San Francisco Peninsula fixture after he and his first wife, Joan, moved here in 1955. Tom was a businessman, philanthropist, political enthusiast, amateur jazz musician and devoted friend and family member. In all those capacities, he tried to live by a code of fairness, service to the community, modesty and a deep love of those with whom he shared relationships.

Among the dozens of properties he developed, the 3000 Sand Hill Road office complex embodied his vision of creating environments with wide vistas, natural greenery and the kinds of amenities he felt would help people do their best work.

As a Stanford University trustee, Tom participated in an educational institution that, although he hadn’t actually matriculated there, had become his adopted alma mater. He touched every facet of university life, from athletics to the hospital to the Haas Center for Public Service.

Tom was a devoted father to his five children – Rich, Dave, Anne, Chris and Tommy – and a loving husband to his wife, Susan. Tom put great stock in friendship and counted himself lucky to enjoy relationships with friends going back to boyhood.

Above all, Tom exuded an irresistible optimism and enthusiasm for life.