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John C. Bogle Papers

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Held at: Princeton University Library: Public Policy Papers [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Public Policy Papers. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Bogle

John C. Bogle (1929- 2019) founded the mutual fund company Vanguard and is a leader in the mutual fund industry. He is an outspoken advocate for low-cost investing, index funds, and the rights of investors, and a critic of the mutual fund industry.

John "Jack" Clifton Bogle and his twin brother David were born on May 8, 1929 in Montclair, New Jersey to William Yates Bogle, Jr. and Josephine Lorraine Hipkins. Bogle graduated from Blair Academy in 1947 and from Princeton University in 1951, where he majored in economics. Bogle also attended the University of Pennsylvania Evening School of Business and Finance from 1952 to 1959. He married Eve M. Sherrerd in 1956 and they had six children: Barbara Josephine, Jean Sherrerd, John Clifton, Jr., Nancy Moore, Sandra Hipkins, and Andrew Armstrong.

Bogle was hired a month after his graduation from Princeton University to be the clerk of Walter L. Morgan, founder and CEO of the Wellington Management Company in Philadelphia, in part on the strength of Bogle's undergraduate thesis on the mutual fund industry. Wellington was at the time one of the largest investment advisors in the United States and a pioneer in the fund industry. Early in his career at Wellington, Bogle was acknowledged as the "heir-apparent" to Morgan. He was named assistant to the president in 1955 and elected to the Board of Directors in 1960. He was promoted to administrative vice president in 1962 and to executive vice president in 1965. In November of 1967, Bogle was elected president and chief executive officer of Wellington and in 1970 also became chairman of the Wellington Funds. From 1969 to 1970, Bogle also served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Investment Company Institute, the mutual fund industry's trade association, which made him the chief industry spokesman.

The 1970s were a difficult time for securities and particularly for Wellington, which performed worse than most companies. Bogle was also often in conflict with the board, which was majority controlled by individuals from a merger with Boston's Thorndike, Doran, Paine & Lewis, Inc., over investment, marketing, and management strategies. In January of 1974, Bogle was fired by the board of the Wellington Management Company. However, as required by law, the Wellington Funds had an independent board of directors who voted to retain Bogle as chairman. The Vanguard Group was incorporated in June 1974 to handle the administrative functions of the Funds, such as ensuring regulatory compliance and sending mailings to shareholders, with Bogle as chairman and chief executive officer. The investment advisory and distribution operations remained with Wellington. Bogle named the corporation, which was located in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, after Lord Nelson's flagship that defeated Napoleon in the Battle of the Nile, one of the most decisive victories in naval history.

Vanguard had inauspicious beginnings. For eighty months, investors redeemed more shares of Vanguard-distributed funds than they bought. Since that time, however, the mutual fund industry has grown considerably, and Vanguard's growth has exceeded that of the industry. Vanguard began in 1974 with a little over $1 billion in assets. By 1990, Vanguard was the nation's fourth-largest mutual fund company with $50 billion in assets, and by 1993 Vanguard was second-largest behind Fidelity Investments with over $110 billion in assets.

Under Bogle's leadership, Vanguard offered the first index fund to retail investors in 1976, the First Index Investment Trust, which tracked the market benchmark of Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Since that time, Bogle and Vanguard have been the leading proponents for indexing, and Bogle has earned the title of "the father of index funds." Initially, this form of investing was supported by many on Wall Street and the academic world but not among professional investors, and Vanguard's index fund was poorly received. The perception of the funds changed through the 1980s and especially the 1990s, and by 2000 the Vanguard 500 Index Fund (originally the First Index Investment Trust) became the world's largest mutual fund

Throughout his career, Bogle has been a leader and an outspoken critic of the mutual fund industry. He promotes mutual funds and long-term, low-cost investing strategies, especially index-based funds, and has emphasized the importance of putting the fund shareholders' interests first, values which have earned him the title "St. Jack" among some Vanguard shareholders. At the same time, he censures the industry for its fees and practices in his writings and addresses, and in letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission, congressmen, magazine editors, and shareholders. He criticizes what he views as excessive fees, the lack of accountability to the shareholders of funds, deceptive advertising and overly-aggressive marketing strategies, and the conflict of interest in companies that must satisfy their own shareholders by earning a profit through increased fees to fund shareholders. In contrast, Bogle established Vanguard as a not-for-profit corporation owned by the Funds, which operates on the principle of keeping costs to the shareholders of the funds at a minimum.

Bogle stepped down as chief executive officer of Vanguard in 1996 but remained chairman of the Vanguard Funds and the Vanguard Management Company. Bogle's successor as chief executive officer was John J. Brennan, who had been identified as Bogle's heir-apparent for several years. Bogle became senior chairman, and Brennan became chairman, in 1998. Bogle retired from the Vanguard board of directors in 1999, after reaching the mandatory retirement age. Vanguard established the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center that year, with Bogle as president. The center, located on the Vanguard campus, allows Bogle to continue investigating and advocating for his central issues, including buy-and-hold investing, index funds, and low fees for all mutual funds. Bogle writes books, delivers speeches, and serves as a public advocate for investors and mutual funds. He has authored several books, including Bogle on Mutual Funds (1994), Common Sense on Mutual Funds (1999), John Bogle on Investing: The First 50 Years (2001), Character Counts: The Creation and Building of the Vanguard Group (2002), and The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism (2005). As of 2007, Bogle is still the president of the center.

Bogle's papers document his career with Vanguard and Wellington Management Company, and his involvement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and include his speeches and correspondence, reports, memoranda, and clippings.

About half of the papers are composed of Bogle's speech and correspondence files. The majority of Bogle's speeches were delivered while he was at Vanguard, but also include some earlier speeches while he was employed by Wellington, and were presented at meetings of professional organization, universities and business classes, and to Vanguard employees. In the speeches, Bogle discussed mutual funds, investing strategies, the success of Vanguard, critiques of the mutual fund industry, the responsibilities of companies to their investors, and capitalism. Bogle's correspondence is largely with colleagues in the investment and financial industries or investors and discusses mutual funds, investing, and Vanguard. The letters include deliberations on the ideas presented in Bogle's writings and the writings of others, letters from satisfied investors, congratulatory letters from colleagues as Bogle reached milestones in his career, and invitations to events. The correspondence also includes letters from employees of Vanguard about their ideas and concerns for the company, and with fund directors on managing the funds.

The remaining papers include materials pertaining to the Security and Exchange Commission and to Bogle's career at Vanguard and Wellington. The Security and Exchange Commission materials include papers pertaining to rulings by the SEC about Vanguard and reports and correspondence submitted by Bogle and Vanguard to the SEC leadership with their opinions on the mutual fund industry. The main subjects include advertising, the independence of auditors, and the responsibilities of companies to investors. The papers related to Bogle's career at Vanguard include reports on the funds' performances and objectives, articles on indexing and Vanguard's first index fund, and organizational materials on Vanguard such as strategic planning documents, press releases, SEC hearings, and a manual for the board of directors. The papers related to Bogle's career at Wellington include his articles on mutual funds and reports to employees, clippings on Wellington and the investment industry, and reports, meeting minutes, and memoranda on the restructuring of Wellington in 1974 that resulted in the formation of Vanguard.

The Papers are arranged alphabetically by subject or document type.

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note: "Bogle Financial Markets Research Center" on the Vanguard website, http://www.vanguard.com/bogle_site/bogle_home.html Accessed April 23, 2006. Bogle, John C., Class of 1951; Undergraduate Alumni Records, Box 313; University Archives, Special Collections, Princeton University. John Bogle and the Vanguard Experiment by Robert Slater. Irwin Professional Publishing: Chicago, 1997.

This collection was donated by John C. Bogle in December 2004, with additions from 2005 to 2007.

Mr. Bogle donated his 2008 and 2009 speeches in April 2017 [ML.2017.009], his 2010 and 2011 speeches in May 2017 [ML.2017.015], his 2012 and 2013 speeches in June 2017 [ML.2017.020], and his 2014 and 2015 speeches in September 2017 [ML.2017.025). In March 2018, he donated his 2016 speeches and publications from 2015-2017 [ML.2018.002]. Mr. Bogle donated his professional correspondence in February 2020 [ML.2020.007].

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Thirteen VHS tapes of Bogle's television appearances are located in Box 10.

This collection was processed by Adriane Hanson and Christopher Shannon in 2007. Material arrived in five accessions between 2004 and 2007. Processing activities included re-housing material in archival folders and boxes and arranging materials into series as identified in the finding aid. Finding aid written by Adriane Hanson in May 2007. Materials in two subsequent accruals in 2008 and 2012 were incorporated into the existing collection and the finding aid was updated at this time. Additional materials received in 2017-2018 were incorporated into the collection by Rachel Van Unen. Another acquisition of materials was made in 2020 and processed by Quin DeLaRosa in 2022.

Publications have been removed from this collection to be cataloged separately.

Due to the presence of personally identifiable information, certain documents in the Correspondence series have been removed and a small number of documents in Box 1 have been line-redacted.

Publisher
Public Policy Papers
Finding Aid Author
Adriane Hanson
Finding Aid Date
2007
Sponsor
These papers were processed with the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund, and John C. Bogle.
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Collection Inventory

Physical Description

11 boxes

Correspondence, 1950-1951. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Correspondence (Miscellaneous), 1963-2016. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Correspondence, 1990-1991. 2 boxes.
Physical Description

2 boxes

Correspondence, 1992-1993. 2 boxes.
Physical Description

2 boxes

Correspondence, 1993-1995. 2 boxes.
Physical Description

2 boxes

Correspondence, 1996. 3 boxes.
Physical Description

3 boxes

Correspondence, 1997-1998. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Correspondence, 1999. 2 boxes.
Physical Description

2 boxes

Correspondence, 2000. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Correspondence, 2001. 2 boxes.
Physical Description

2 boxes

Correspondence, 2002. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Correspondence, 2003-2005. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Correspondence, 2006. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Correspondence, 2007. 2 boxes.
Physical Description

2 boxes

Correspondence, 2008. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Correspondence, 2009-2010. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Correspondence, 2011. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Correspondence, 2012. 2 boxes.
Physical Description

2 boxes

Correspondence, 2013-2014. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Correspondence, 2015. 2 boxes.
Physical Description

2 boxes

Correspondence, 2016. 2 boxes.
Physical Description

2 boxes

Correspondence, 2017-2019. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Mutual Funds, 1948-1952. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Photographs, circa 1990-2005. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Princeton University Memorabilia, circa 1950-1961. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

(Bogle was Class of 1951.)

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

4 boxes

40 Amendments, 1990. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Advertising, 1977-1987. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

2000, 2000. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1998, 1998. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1997, 1997. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1996, 1996. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1995, 1995. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1994, 1994. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1992, 1992. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1991, 1991. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1990, 1990. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1989, 1989. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1988, 1988. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1987, 1987. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1986, 1986. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1981, 1981. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Financial Sector Advisory Committee, 1991-1994. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Financial Sector Advisory Committee, 1991-1994. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Independent Sector Hearings, 2000. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Investment Adviser, 1992-1999. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Management Disclosure, 1989-1990. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Misleading Advertising, 1991. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Mutual Fund Compliance, 1991-2004. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Mutual Fund Compliance, 1991-2004. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Physical Description

2 boxes

Journal of Indexes: The Bogle Issue, 2012. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Financial Analysts Journal, 2017. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Volume 73, Number 2

Physical Description

1 folder

The Journal of Portfolio Management, 2015-2016. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Forbes Magazine 100th Anniversary Issue, 2017. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

7 boxes

2016, 2016. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2015, 2015. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2014, 2014. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2013, 2013. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2012, 2012. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2011, 2011. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2010, 2010. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2009, 2009. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2008, 2008. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2007, 2007. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2006, 2006. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

2005, 2005. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2005, 2005. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2004, 2004. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

2003, 2003. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

2002, 2002. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2001, 2001. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

2000, 2000. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1999, 1999. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1998, 1998. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1997, 1997. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1996, 1996. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1995, 1995. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1994, 1994. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1993, 1993. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1992, 1992. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1991, 1991. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1990, 1990. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1989, 1989. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1988, 1988. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1987, 1987. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1986, 1986. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1985, 1985. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1984, 1984. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1983, 1983. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1982, 1982. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1981, 1981. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1980, 1980. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1979, 1979. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1978, 1978. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1977, 1977. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1976, 1976. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1975, 1975. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1973, 1973. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1971, 1971. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1970, 1970. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1965, 1965. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

undated, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

Art I, 1949. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Economics 303, 1949. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

English II, 1948. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Junior Independent Work for the Department of Economics, 1949-1950. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Senior Thesis, "The Economic Role of the Investment Company", 1950-1951. 4 folders.
Physical Description

4 folders

Physical Description

1 box

Guide to the Videotapes, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Videotapes, 1984-2004. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Physical Description

4 boxes

Physical Description

1 box

Bond Index Fund, 1987-2004. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Morgan Growth Fund, 1974-2004. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Wellington Fund, 1975-2003. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Windsor Fund, 1974-2004. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Directors' Development Program, 1977. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

First Index Investment Trust, 1974-1976. 3 folders.
Scope and Contents

(The first indexed mutual fund.)

Physical Description

3 folders

Indexing, 1976-2004. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Indexing, 1976-2004. 4 folders.
Physical Description

4 folders

Investment Objectives of Mutual Funds, 1975. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Organizational Structure, 1974-1995. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Strategic Planning, 1982. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Strategic Planning, 1983. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Physical Description

3 boxes

Annual Reports to Employees, 1967-1973. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Annual Reports to Shareholders, 1960-1977. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Articles, 1960-1963. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Articles and Memoranda by Bogle, 1951-1958. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

2 boxes

Reference Manual, 1974-1976. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

Report, 1974. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Report, 1974. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Reports, 1950-1972. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

Print, Suggest