Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Ginn, Edwin, 1838-1914
Edwin Ginn (1838-1914), A1862, served as a trustee for six years and was a benefactor of Tufts College. He founded the Ginn & Company textbook publishing house in 1867. A noted philanthropist and peace advocate, Ginn worked closely with Andrew Carnegie to further the international peace movement.
A descendent of early settlers of Maryland, Virginia, and Salem, Massachusetts, Edwin Ginn was born into a Universalist farming family living in Orland, Maine, on February 14, 1838. As a child, he attended about four months of rural school a year. At fifteen, he entered an academy in Bucksport, Maine, in search of a more formal education. He later transferred to Westbrook Seminary, a Universalist preparatory school near Portland, Maine. Ginn chose to study at Tufts in 1858 instead of entering the Universalist ministry. Graduating from Tufts with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1862, Ginn also received, through a program for exceptionally able students, his Masters of Arts at the same time.
After becoming successful in the publishing world, Ginn took on a number of philanthropic causes, including the construction of low-income housing in Boston. He also worked to further the cause of peace and donated $1,000,000 to establish the World Peace Foundation in 1910.
In 1902, Ginn was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from his alma mater and was elected an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa.
The Edwin Ginn Library at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the first collection of which was based on the donation of the library of Ginn's World Peace Foundation, was named in his honor.
Ginn married twice and fathered six children. He died on January 21, 1914, at his home in Winchester, Massachusetts, after suffering from a paralytic stroke and pneumonia a month earlier.