“We don’t produce World War II films. We produce films on individual personal stories from World War II.
I think there’s a pretty significant difference.
It’s the reason why People Magazine has survived all these years. People are very interested in learning about the unique journey of other people. In many instances, they find these personal narratives very relevant to their own daily lives.
We focus on the micro view of the war, the individual, rather than the traditional macro interpretation of the battles, strategy, and global picture of why World War II happened.
During World War II, many of the individual stories were very heroic. A large number were also very tragic. Some were very mundane but taken as a whole; They were all critical to the story of the war itself and remain applicable to the challenges and opportunities we all still face today in a new century.
A big part of the stories we tell also focus on the lessons learned and mistakes made by those caught up in the most significant global conflict known to man, which killed roughly 60 million people and changed the world forever.
We film all our documentaries on location, so our audience gets a “then and now” feel for the stories we share. We spend a lot of time in Europe and the Pacific, in the actual environment where these personal stories played out, from the Auschwitz Concentration Camp and small hamlets in Normandy to Japanese caves on the island of Peleliu and the jungles of Guadalcanal.
I can think of no period in history more crucial to the preservation of these kinds of individual stories than World War II. That generation, which survived the Great Depression and then fought a world war, left us a blueprint. It’s our responsibility to review it from time to time because while history may not repeat itself, it certainly rhymes.
We owe that to all those who never came home from Europe and the Pacific. And to those who did return, but were forever changed by their experiences and what they witnessed.”
-Tim Gray, Founder & President
The World War II Foundation
The non-profit World War II Foundation honors the legacy of the veterans and survivors of one of history’s most important time periods by producing educational documentary films that air on television networks around the world via American Public Television (each 60 to 90 minutes in length), as well as making them available for free to educators, students and the public. The goal is to preserve these important stories for current and future generations.
The World War II Foundation and Tim Gray Media have produced 26 WWII films for global television and free watching on this educational website.
Among the Foundation’s other initiatives is the building of an overseas monument recognizing American leadership on D-Day and the World War II Foundation Global Education Center in Rhode Island, where over 3,000 artifacts, 700 books, and a movie theatre help tell the story of World War II to thousands of students each year.
In 2019, the World War II Foundation also established the Senator Bob Dole World War II Leadership Award, which is now given annually to a veteran of WWII who returned from the war and devoted their lives to public service and educating current and future generations on the subject of World War II.
World War II Foundation Brochure
Click on the below image to be taken to our 2020 World War II Foundation Official Brochure
What We Do Best
With more than two-dozen award-winning documentary films to date, narrated by some of the biggest names in the entertainment and sports world, and filmed on location in Europe and the Pacific, the non-profit World War II Foundation preserves the personal stories of the veterans, survivors, and eye-witnesses of World War II so their incredible experiences are not forgotten and remain freely accessible to future generations.
World War II Foundation documentary films air globally and rank in the top-5 of most requested programs nationally by PBS affiliates. 7 more films are currently in various phases of post-production.
WWII Foundation outreach also includes in-person visits to schools and universities, both in the United States and globally and events held in Europe and the Pacific that bring people together to educate and honor the contribution of the World War II generation.
These efforts also include Skype and Zoom seminars with students, which are also part of our global outreach curriculum.
We educate based on how students learn today, which is visual. Our astonishing true-life stories inspire a new generation to fully grasp the lessons left to us by the World War II generation.
Our goal is to encourage people to want to learn more about those who participated in one of the most cataclysmic events in world history.
A Little More Background
In addition to producing 26 documentary films to date focused on World War II, on June 6, 2012, in front of over 1,000 attendees, the World War II Foundation also dedicated the Richard D. Winters Leadership Monument in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy, France (photo). The 13-foot high statue, in the likeness of Major Richard “Dick” Winters, the leader of WWII’s famous Band of Brothers, recognizes all American junior officers, and their divisions and corps, who led the way on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The WWII Foundation raised all of the funds for the statue. It has become one of the most visited monuments in Normandy.
We could not have dedicated this amazing statue without the support of many people in the United States and France. Thank you to generous donors David F. Alfonso, Executive Producer of the monument and Dick Winters: Hang Tough film efforts and baseball legend Curt Schilling. Actor Damian Lewis narrated the documentary. Charles de Vallavieille and the village of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont in Normandy were also critical to the success of this initiative. We cannot thank them enough for bringing this vision to reality.
We also could not do what we do without help over the years from some very notable people including Gary Sinise, Dan Aykroyd, Tom Selleck, Bill Belichick, Matthew Broderick, Governor Tom Ridge, Kyle Chandler, Damian Lewis, Jason Beghe, Liev Schreiber, Tim McCarver, Jon Seda, Tom Kane, Peter Kessler, Martha MacCallum, Dale Dye, David McCallum and FedEx CEO Fred Smith. We also have enjoyed the support of many of the actors and veterans who were involved with the historic HBO series Band of Brothers.
(Photo: Richard D. Winters Leadership Monument in Normandy, France).
Vision and Global Spokesperson
Each day some 400 veterans of WWII pass on, taking with them incredible stories of the time period 1939-1945.
The goal of our Foundation is to preserve the individual experiences of those who witnessed the most devastating conflict known to man and to hopefully, pass on the lessons learned from World War II to a new generation.
We also seek, through educational outreach, to honor those who showed great examples of dedication, sacrifice, and courage during one of the most horrific time periods in history.
We do hope you will support our mission and honor those who still remain, while also recognizing the cost paid by those who did not come home or were caught up in the path of World War II. Time is critical.
The foundation donates its films to American Public Television, schools and libraries so young people understand the sacrifices made by the WWII generation.
A special thank you to the World War II Foundation’s Global Spokesperson actor Jon Seda (below), who portrayed Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. John Basilone in HBO’s “The Pacific” series and starred in NBC’s hit show Chicago P.D. (Photo).
Jon Seda, WWII Foundation Global Spokesperson
“Documentary filmmaker Tim Gray is America’s preeminent storyteller of those Tom Brokaw famously called “The Greatest Generation” — the American women and men of World War II who, at the cost of much blood and treasure, helped defeat fascism, the despicable movement responsible for an estimated 60 million or more deaths, including 6 million in the Holocaust.”
-G. Wayne Miller, The Providence Journal
Tim Gray, Founder, and President of the WWII Foundation has won 5 Regional Emmy Awards for documentary film writing and outstanding documentary film. The Foundation has also captured 3 Indie Film Fest Awards in that international competition, as well as 2 Impact Doc Awards. Most prestigiously, the World War II Foundation, and Tim Gray Media have also been recognized with American Public Television’s National Programming Excellence Award.
Tim is a frequent contributor to Fox News Channel, sharing the personal stories of the World War II generation with a global television audience.
Tim’s 26 films to date, which he has written, produced and directed, range in length from 60 to 90 minutes. These documentaries have taken the WWII Foundation to film in locations such as Guadalcanal, Corregidor, Bataan, Manila, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, the Russell Islands, Banika, Peleliu, Japan, Guam and the Republic of Palau. In addition, Tim has also filmed on location at Iwo Jima (2020), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (10 times), Normandy, France (15 trips), Holland, England, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland (including the Auschwitz and Treblinka Concentration and Death Camp locations), the Czech Republic, Germany, and all over the United States, including the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, where Tim met the President and presented him with 2 of his films.
Tim’s latest film titled “Grandpa’s War Story Goes #Viral” is narrated by Liev Schreiber. The WWII Foundation/Tim Gray Media has another 7 films in various forms of post-production.
World War II Foundation/Tim Gray Media films consistently rank in the top-5 of most requested programs nationally by PBS affiliates.
Tim is also the founder of the Normandie-World War II International Film Festival in Saint-Come-du-Mont, France. It’s the only film festival in the world focused strictly on documentaries and short films centered on the stories World War II. 2020 marks the 4th year of the festival, which also attracts some of the world’s top actors and authors as speakers, as well as veterans of WWII. It’s held at the beautiful D-Day Experience, which features an amazing IMAX theater.
Prior to Tim Gray’s Documentary Film Work:
Tim worked as a television sports and news anchor and reporter for over 15 years in several states and U.S. markets including Michigan, Washington State, Florida (Fort Myers and Orlando) New York and Providence, Rhode Island. In 2000, Tim was appointed weekend sports anchor and sports/news reporter at Ch. 10 in Providence, another NBC affiliate. He held that job until 2004. While in Ft. Myers, FL Tim was designated sportscaster-of the-year by the Florida Sportscaster’s Association as well as a top feature reporter.
Tim is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Journalism.
Through various initiatives, Tim Gray and his project work have appeared in and been featured on: The Today Show; MSNBC, Fox News, Discovery Channel’s Orange County Choppers, CNN, C-Span, PBS stations around the country and world, the United States Armed Forces Radio Network, the Associated Press and in other newspapers such as USA Today, the Boston Globe and many others.