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DON AND SYBIL HARRINGTON FOUNDATION. The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation was founded as a trust in Amarillo in 1951 by oilman Donald Harrington and his wife, Sybil Buckingham Harrington. It became a nonprofit corporation in 1971. It is a broad-purpose private foundation directed by a six-member board. Its interests include hospitals and health care agencies, cultural programs, higher education, youth agencies, social services, and civic affairs, and it concentrates its funds in Amarillo and the Panhandle. In 1971 the capital fund of the foundation was a little more than $1 million. When Donald Harrington died in April 1974 most of his community-property estate went to the foundation. When the estate was closed in 1982 the value of the foundation was in excess of $54 million.

Notable contributions of the foundation to the Amarillo area have been to the Don and Sybil Harrington Cancer Center, the Harrington Petroleum Wing of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, the Don Harrington Discovery Center, the Harrington Medical Library of Texas Tech Medical School in Amarillo, and the Harrington Library Consortium (a computerized network of the libraries of the city of Amarillo, Amarillo College, Texas Tech Medical School, and West Texas A&M University). Notable contributions outside the Amarillo area have been to the Harrington Arthritis Research Center in Phoenix, Arizona, and a substantial endowment to the Metropolitan Opera of New York City. The foundation was restructured as of January 1, 1988, from a private foundation to a public-support organization for the benefit and under the control of Amarillo Area Foundations, Incorporated. In 1989 the foundation had assets of $73,699,918, income of $7,392,832, and grants of $7,106,918, with the largest grant ($2,064,855) going to the Harrington Cancer Center.


The Hooper Directory of Texas Foundations (San Antonio: Texas Foundations Research Center, 1976-). Harold M. Keele and Joseph C. Kiger, eds., Foundations (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood, 1984). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Richard D. Palmer


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Richard D. Palmer, "DON AND SYBIL HARRINGTON FOUNDATION," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 24, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.