About the Founder

About the Founder

Jack Kagan was truly a singular man. Born and orphaned in 1921, he grew to blaze his own trail and earn the respect of all who knew him.

He was adopted into a modest home in Boston, Massachusetts. As a young man, he earned money by delivering vegetables and fruit, then in construction before joining the Army in 1942. He served bravely and was promoted quickly, as his superiors recognized his natural leadership. Once reaching the rank of Master Sergeant he declined further advancement – he preferred his role among the ranks of men.

Jack Kagan portrait Jack Kagan portrait

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“He accomplished most things he attempted such as taking a 48-foot yacht from Texas to Florida (alone). Such as coming to Washington broke (alone). Built up a very big enterprise in a very few years, and still, at over 90, runs it and still has all his ‘marbles.’“ -Ike Kravitz
Jack’s friend since before WWII

After the war, he moved to Washington, DC where he took charge of a foundering trucking company. With no formal training – only his innate business savvy, powerful personality, and growing leadership ability – he turned the company around and led it to success. Great American Van Lines and Forwarders, with Jack Kagan at the helm, helped lead the transportation industry into the future. He also owned and managed a diverse number of transportation assets, from steamship lines to warehouses, and from import/export to long-haul trucks.

Jack fell ill and passed on February 2014. He established the Jack Kagan Foundation, with four major missions in mind: as an orphan, he wanted to provide assistance to other orphaned, fostered, or otherwise challenged children; as a veteran, he wanted to help the veterans of our nation – especially those mentally or physically disabled; as a supporter of science, he wanted to fund medical services and promising medical science research; and as a man who valued his community, he wanted to ensure his Foundation provided for worthy community efforts. His surviving children, the Trustees of his Foundation, are ensuring his charitable grants meet the mission of the Foundation in his name.