“We don’t produce World War II films. We produce documentary films on individual personal stories from World War II. I think there’s a pretty significant difference.
We educate younger generations about the war. We do not approach this in ways WE think are best. We teach based on how students are actually learning and what tools THEY themselves are utilizing today to explore history, whether that be via strong visual storytelling in films that capture their attention and imagination, or utilizing new story telling technology such as Virtual Reality (VR).
We push out much of this content via Social Media channels, as well as via traditional national and international television networks. We film all these documentaries, narrated by some of the biggest names in television, music, sports and the movies, in the locations where they actually played out in the war. Often bringing back a veteran or survivor with us to where their own individual WWII story began and ended. Our studio is Europe, the Pacific and the Far-East.
We hope these award-winning films, which rank in the top-5 of most requested programs nationally by PBS and Public Television affiliates, will motivate not just students, but everyone to learn more about this critical time period in world history. The lessons of which still strongly resonate today. We make all these resources available for free to anyone who wants to explore World War II’s impact on the lives of those who lived through it.”
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 (31 to date) with several more in post-production). The documentaries air on television networks around the world via American Public Television. Each of our films range from 60 to 90 minutes in length. We make these documentaries available for free to educators, students and the public. The goal is to preserve these important stories for current and future generations.
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 and Museum in Rhode Island, where over 4,500 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.
What We Do Best
With 31 award-winning documentary films completed to date (and an additional 7 in pre and post-production), 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 and Public Television affiliates.
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 31 documentary films to date (with an additional 7 films in pre and post-production) 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 all of Normandy, France.
We could not have dedicated this amazing statue without the support of many people in the United States and France. Thank you to generous donor David F. Alfonso, Executive Producer of the monument and Dick Winters: Hang Tough film efforts. 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 narrators and supporters Gary Sinise, Dan Aykroyd, Tom Brokaw, Jane Lynch, Darius Rucker, Dan Rather, Jim Nantz, Tom Selleck, Bill Belichick, Matthew Broderick, Governor Tom Ridge, Greg Gumbel, Ron Livingston, Kyle Chandler, Damian Lewis, Jason Beghe, Liev Schreiber, Tim McCarver, Jon Seda, Tom Kane, Peter Kessler, Dale Dye, Luke Bryan, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Jim Nantz, 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 300 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).
Actor Jon Seda (HBO’s The Pacific, NBC’s Chicago P.D.) is the 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 Gray has completed 31 documentaries to date (and is in production & post-production on an additional 7 more films). Tim has written, produced and directed each of these films, ranging 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. Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (11 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.
In addition, Tim is also scheduled to film on Iwo Jima (2022).
Some of Tim’s latest films include “Grandpa’s War Story Goes #Viral” narrated by actor Liev Schreiber. Another new documentary is “Rommel: The Soldier, the Son and Hitler” narrated by actor Greg Kinnear and “Surrender on the USS Missouri” narrated by Country Music Superstar Luke Bryan. Just completed is “Elvis and The USS Arizona” narrated by CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz and actor Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights).
The WWII Foundation/Tim Gray Media has another 8 films in various forms of production. Tim is currently working on the documentary “They Volunteered for This: Merrill’s Marauders” narrated by Tom Brokaw and “Jack Taylor: The Enterprise” narrated by Gary Sinise. Jane Lynch is also narrating “The Women of World War II” in 2022.
World War II Foundation/Tim Gray Media films consistently rank in the top-5 of most requested programs nationally by PBS and Public Television affiliates.
On June 6, 2012, the World War II Foundation dedicated the Richard D. Winters Leadership Monument in Normandy, France, which has become one of the most visited monuments in Normandy. The 13-foot statue recognizes the leadership of all American junior officers on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Tim is also the founder of the Normandie-World War II International Film & Media 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. 2022 marks the 6th 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.
In 2018, Tim founded the World War II Foundation Global Education Center and Museum in Rhode Island. The museum, filled with roughly 5,000 original and rare WWII artifacts, hosts school groups from around Southern New England. The museum has over 600 books related to WWII and a small theatre. It is also open to the public. The education center has been called one of the best small WWII museums in the world.
In addition, Tim hosts a Zoom Video Podcast titled From the Front to the Films that features well-known actors, authors, filmmakers, veterans and others who are connected to World War II.
Tim has also been a frequent guest on FOX News’ national program The Story with Martha MacCallum, where he contributes to the networks coverage of WWII events, issues and stories.
On October 23, 2021 Tim Gray was inducted into the Rhode Island Hall of Fame. The RI Heritage Hall of Fame was established in 1965.
Tim is honored to sit on the Advisory Board of Patriots’ Hall of Dripping Springs, a foundation established by Emmy Award-Winning actor Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Bloodline, Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, King Kong) and his wife Kathryn. The mission of Patriots’ Hall of Dripping Springs is to create a permanent retreat and resource base for Veterans of all ages and military branches to connect and find support.
Academically, Tim works each semester with history and film students from Davidson College in North Carolina. The Zoom internships provide the students with introductions to World War II topics, and also the documentary film process.
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 , CNN, C-Span, PBS stations around the country and world, the United States Armed Forces Radio Network, the Associated Press, and in national and global newspapers and magazines.