“As many of you know, educating our young people has always been of particular interest to me. […] I applaud any measures that seek to give talented individuals opportunities that would otherwise not be available to them. I therefore wholeheartedly support the creation of this foundation for youth development that bears my name.”

(Dr. Jost Henkel at the opening of the foundation, 1958)

Foundation 1958 to present

In 1958, the companies Henkel & Cie GmbH and Persil GmbH established the Dr. Jost Henkel Stiftung. It was launched to mark Dr. Jost Henkel’s 25-year anniversary of working at Henkel & Cie GmbH, the company established by his grandfather Fritz Henkel.

Arising from Dr. Jost Henkel’s personal convictions and social awareness, he founded the Dr. Jost Henkel Stiftung for the purpose of providing economically disadvantaged young persons an opportunity to gain the best possible education. Despite being highly talented, children from low-income families were often unable to start an academic education because their families did not have the necessary financial resources.

Since then, his wish has been fulfilled a thousand times over. The foundation has financially supported the academic pursuits of young people for more than 50 years, helping provide equal opportunities and equitable access to higher education institutions worldwide.

1909 – 1961
Dr. Jost Henkel

  • 1909

    Jost Henkel was born in Düsseldorf on July 27 as the son of Hugo Henkel and Gerda Henkel, née Janssen.

  • 1928

    Graduation from the Rethel Gymnasium high school in Düsseldorf.


    Commercial apprenticeship in Bremen.


    Jost Henkel studied economics in Bonn, Berlin and Hamburg and graduated as a certified economist in 1932.

  • 1933

    January 2: Jost Henkel joined the company Henkel.


    July 26: The third generation of the Henkel family took over the management of the company. Alongside Werner and Carl August Bagel, Jost Henkel became a General Manager


    July 11: Jost Henkel was elected as “Betriebsführer” [site director] by the Management Board.


    Jost Henkel was arrested alongside other members of the Henkel family. The trustee Paul Schulz was appointed head of the company.


    November 21: The Henkel family returned to the company. On December 10, the Management Board was re-organized and Jost Henkel became an official Management Board member.

  • 1958

    January 11: Jost Henkel was awarded the “Grosses Verdienstkreuz des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland” [Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany].
    To mark Jost Henkel’s 25 years at Henkel, the “Dr. Jost-Henkel-Stiftung” was set up to promote vocational training for junior employees at Henkel.


    Jost Henkel was the first German industrialist to receive a replica of the Berlin Liberty Bell. It was presented to him by Willy Brandt, the Governing Mayor of the city, in recognition of the Henkel company’s support of Berlin.

  • 1961

    July 7: Death of Jost Henkel at the age of 51. His younger brother Konrad Henkel succeeds him as Chaiman of the Management Board.