The de Beaumont Foundation was created in 1998 by Pierre S. (Pete) de Beaumont, the founder of the Brookstone Company, with the broad purpose to relieve human suffering. Mr. de Beaumont wanted the Foundation to have a broad mandate and supported a concentration on public health, where he thought his resources could make the biggest impact. He gave the Board of Directors ultimate discretion in the choice of funding priorities.
Mr. de Beaumont was born and raised in New York City. After graduating from Harvard University in 1938, he began a successful career as a mechanical engineer with Packard Motor Car Co. (where he was granted several patents) and General Motors. During World War II, he served as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Following the war, he continued his engineering career at Apex Electrical Manufacturing Company and Bostic. In 1965, Mr. de Beaumont and his wife, Mary Deland (Robbins), founded the Brookstone Company. Initially a mail order catalogue, it grew to become a successful chain of retail stores before they retired in 1980 and sold the company to the Quaker Oats Company.
The Foundation was fully funded upon Mr. de Beaumont’s death in December 2010.