News and analysis
February 06, 2012

No. 42: Robert G. and Charlee L. Moore

Eric Griswold

Amount donated in 2011: $31.4-million

Biggest beneficiary: Oregon Health & Science University

Donors’ background: The Moores founded Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, a provider of whole-grain natural foods in Milwaukie, Ore.

Mr. Moore, 82, and his wife, Charlee, pledged $25-million to Oregon Health & Science University to establish the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness.

The Moores earmarked $15.5-million for the institute’s endowment, $2.5-million to support the institute’s initial research and education activities, $5-million to endow two professorships, including one for the institute’s director; and $2-million to pay for the institute’s activities.

The university also agreed to use at least a third of the money the Moores gave for programs to collaborate with other organizations, including two other Oregon academic institutions that the Moores have supported in recent years: Oregon State University and the National College of Natural Medicine.

The university has received $1-million thus far, and the Moores will pay another $4-million over the next four years. The rest of the pledge will come from the couple’s estate.

The Moores reached out to Oregon Health & Science to ask officials how they could help the institution curb health problems linked to poor nutrition.

The couple felt compelled to make the gift, Mr. Moore says, because, “although we as a nation seem to realize the importance of our diet in relation to our overall health, the knowledge is empirical and only evident to those who try it. This wonderful OHSU program, if kept on track, will create a true knowledge of the importance and value of what we eat, which affects what we become. In short, we hope this gift will make the world a better and healthier place.”

The Moores also donated $5-million to Oregon State University to establish the Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition, and Preventive Health. The gift will endow a director and a professorship, as well as research and efforts to educate people about how to prevent child obesity and promote healthy eating habits. They also gave $1.4-million to the National College of Natural Medicine to inform Oregon families about healthful food choices and eating habits.

—Caroline Bermudez

View more profiles of donors who gave the most in 2011