—Daniel Coit Gilman (Founding President, 1876–1902)
Who was Johns Hopkins?
Our founder's name was Johns. It’s just one of the things that make us unique. #EmbraceTheS
Johns Hopkins was a Baltimore-based investor in one of the first major American railroads, the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O). His often misspelled first name was originally the maiden name of his great-grandmother, Margaret Johns, who married Gerard Hopkins in 1700. The second Johns Hopkins—our founder—was the grandson and namesake of the first. In 1867, he formed two corporations, one a university and the other a hospital. Upon his death six years later, he left $7 million to be split between these two institutions, each bearing his name. At the time, this gift was the largest philanthropic bequest in U.S. history.
Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 as the first American research university. Still today, Hopkins students enjoy the freedom to explore their interests and discover new ones, fostering new knowledge along the way.
Learn more about the history of the university.