The James H. Cummings Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit corporation organized in New York State in July, 1962 for the purpose of complying with certain provisions in the will of its founder and namesake. Admired for his unassuming manner, friendly demeanor, and quiet generosity, Cummings was dedicated to giving back to the communities he once called home.
The Foundation’s focus is on funding not-for-profits making strides in medical research, science and post-secondary education in Buffalo, Toronto, and Hendersonville, North Carolina. In addition, we focus on funding programming for vulnerable people of all ages—children to older adults—in Buffalo and Hendersonville.
Board of Directors
Charles F. Kreiner, Jr.
Christopher T. Greene
William L. Joyce
LaVonne Ansari, PhD
Amy L. Clifton
Theodore I. Putnam, MD
Mary Jo Hunt
About James H. Cummings
James H. Cummings was a resident of Buffalo, New York, where he owned and operated a pharmaceutical business, the American Ferment Company. Routinely spending 14-hour days working at his desk or in the laboratory, Cummings built the company’s success around a group of proprietary medicines which carried the trade name, “Caroid.”
With offices and plants in both Buffalo and Toronto, Mr. Cummings developed strong ties to both cities over the years. He vastly improved the products, first by acquiring his own papaya plantations in the West Indies and second by improving the methods of extracting and purifying the ingredients. The company prospered and soon had national distribution for its products. It continued to maintain Carter, Cummings & Company as its Canadian subsidiary. After Mr. Cummings sold the pharmaceutical business in 1938 for slightly over $7 million, it was moved to Trenton, New Jersey.
Mr. Cummings maintained his home in Buffalo but spent part of the year raising cattle on a farm he owned near Hendersonville, North Carolina. For the remainder of his life, he made it a priority to give back to the Buffalo, Toronto, and Hendersonville communities, funding hospital and church construction projects, among others.
He is fondly remembered as a down-to-earth man whose keen interest in medicine inspired those who knew him to call him “Dr. Cummings.”
After his death in 1959, the James H. Cummings Foundation was established to carry out the wishes outlined in Mr. Cummings’ will, thereby continuing the support for the charitable interests he had served during his life.