Charles Hixson Dater was born in Cincinnati in 1912. A brother, the only other child of Charles Henry Dater and his wife Ona, died as an infant 12 years before Charles was born. Charles grew up in Northside and attended Northminster Presbyterian Church. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati and pursued a master's in business administration at Harvard University. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army during World War II. His father died when Charles was only 17 years old, and he was thrust into management of the family's holdings at an early age. After his mother died, his full-time focus became the family's investments and residential land development in Western Hills, where he lived in a modest three-bedroom ranch home. He died in 1993.
Many Greater Cincinnati institutions and charities benefited from his generosity through the years, both before and after the establishment of the Foundation; but Charles preferred that his gifts be anonymous and unrecognized. He made the decision in the mid-1980s to establish a foundation to preserve the family's memory and to ensure that funding through grants for worthwhile community programs would continue. The Dater family and its ties to Cincinnati date back four generations. Charles's great grandfather, Adam Dater, emigrated from Germany and settled in Cincinnati in 1830. Hard work and business acumen were hallmarks of succeeding generations of Dater family members, who generously shared their success with their community. A Cincinnati high school and Montessori school are named in honor of Gilbert Dater, grandfather of Charles.
Remarks by the late David L. Olberding, Director
and President of the Dater Foundation, at a ceremony celebrating the
Foundation's 15th anniversary on September 26, 2001. Click here