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Our History

Image Credit: Arthur Schatz/Getty Images

Milton Petrie, framed by racks of clothing in one of his Petrie Stores Corporation warehouses.

The son of immigrants, Milton Petrie opened his first clothing store during the Great Depression. Over the next fifty years, he built the Petrie Stores Corporation into a national retail powerhouse. At its peak, more than 250 Petrie Stores provided fashionable low-cost clothing to young women and employed tens of thousands of workers across the country.


As his company and wealth grew, Mr. Petrie became well known for his generosity. He often provided support to "everyday" New Yorkers he read about in the newspaper.  Alongside his wife, Carroll, he also made a wide range of philanthropic gifts to New York's major arts institutions, cancer researchers, nonprofits, and education initiatives.


Today, The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation carries on this legacy: by making grants to students in need through the Petrie Student Emergency Grant Funds and by supporting colleges and nonprofit organizations in New York City. The Foundation helps young people in New York City achieve their long-term goals through higher education and career connections.

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