Tyler Prize Founders
John and Alice Tyler: A Profile
At an early age the late John Tyler worked for his father, a founder of several insurance companies. This experience, along with the elder Tyler's encouragement, ultimately led John Tyler to follow in his father’s footsteps. In 1928, he founded Farmers Insurance Group, a fledgling company that overcame the many obstacles of our country’s great depression. Under John Tyler’s leadership as chief Executive Officer for 25 years, and later as Chairman, the company grew to rank among the leaders in the field.
John and Alice Tyler appreciated nature and enjoyed its closeness through ranching, sailing, and all forms of outdoor life. They were concerned about the increasing ravages of pollution and resolved to help conserve what is natural and beautiful in our world. They established an international award as an inspiration to people of all nations to become involved and understand the importance of preserving our environment.
President Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California, helped inaugurate the John and Alice Tyler Prize in 1973. Seventy individuals and four organizations have been honored since the first awards were presented. Mrs. Tyler, in speaking of these distinguished honorees said “I have faith that the ever-growing research by brilliant world scientists will continue to alert us to the delicate balance that sustains life... and that we will become more aware of the dire urgency to improve and maintain this vital cycle for the preservation of our Universe.”
Together John and Alice Tyler established a remarkable record of philanthropy. In addition to her foremost concerns, world environment and education, the late Mrs. Tyler’s interests also extended to child health, medical research, and the arts. She was a co-founder of ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists.)
The Tylers were founding members of the Los Angeles Music Center Building Fund, and Alice continued her support of the Center’s Blue Ribbon Group. They provided buildings to the University of Southern California and Pepperdine University. Mrs. Tyler was a supporter of medical research at the University of California and contributed building funds to local hospitals. Along with other causes close to her heart, Mrs. Tyler especially embraced Childhelp U.S.A. for its dedication to and care of abused children. A constant in Alice and John Tyler’s lives was their affection for animals; to continue this bond, Mrs. Tyler adopted a variety of endangered wildlife and provided for their exhibition at the Los Angeles Zoo. She put together a large art collection, some of which focused on peace and the environment. Mrs. Tyler was a Dame of the Danish Order of St. John.
Amber Brown, Administrator