Gordon and Betty Moore

Gordon and Betty Moore have contributed to science, technology, education and conservation for decades. In 2017, they were recognized as California’s most generous philanthropists.

Beginning with individual gifts, many of them anonymous, then forming the Moore Family Foundation, and eventually, in 2000, creating the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation “to create positive outcomes for future generations,” Gordon and Betty maintained a focus across their philanthropic endeavors on supporting nonprofits working in environmental conservation, science, patient care and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Photo of a young Gordon and Betty Moore

“We thought we had an opportunity to make a significant impact on the world. And really that is what was attractive. To do something permanent and hopefully on a large scale.”
- Gordon Moore

In 2015, Gordon and Betty wrote a Statement of Founders’ Intent that captures and immortalizes their hopes and expectations for their foundation. “Betty and I established the Foundation because we believe it can make a significant and positive impact in the world,” Gordon wrote. “We want the Foundation to tackle large, important issues at a scale where it can achieve significant and measurable impacts.”

As a leader in the semiconductor industry, Gordon helped shape what we now recognize as Silicon Valley and the technology sector. Gordon was committed to scientific discovery and technological progress throughout his career. He co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and then Intel Corporation, creator of the world’s first microprocessor, in 1968. He became Intel’s president and chief executive officer in 1975 and held that post until elected chairman and chief executive officer in 1979 and chairman emeritus in 1997. A rule-of-thumb prediction made by Gordon in 1965, later dubbed “Moore’s Law,” became a guiding principle for the delivery of ever more powerful semiconductor chips at proportionally lower costs.

Born in Los Gatos, California, Betty attended Campbell Elementary School and Los Gatos High School, then went on to receive her B.A. in Journalism from San Jose College, where she first met Gordon. Betty worked for the U.S. Rubber Company in San Francisco until their marriage in 1950. Soon after they were married the young couple moved to Pasadena, where Gordon earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Physics from the California Institute of Technology and Betty worked for Consolidated Engineering Corporation in advertising and public relations, then joined the Ford Foundation. Betty’s personal commitment to improving the experience of patients led to the inception and focus of the Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative, and that vision endures through our Patient Care Program.

“I think it’s important to give back to society if it’s at all possible and I just feel that we have been very lucky in our lives. We want to make things better for other people. You can see so much need.”
- Betty Moore


Founders' Intent

In 2015, Gordon and Betty Moore set down in writing their hopes and expectations for the foundation into the future: "This document provides guidance to the Trustees and Management of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation with respect to our intent in establishing the Foundation. Since it is impossible to predict the future with any certainty, the guidance cannot be very specific, but rather gives a general idea of our goals and aspirations."

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