Remembering the Oral History Center’s ‘angel investor’

Pete Bancroft
Pete Bancroft

Paul “Pete” Bancroft III died in January at the age of 88, but his memory lives on every day at The Bancroft Library’s Oral History Center.

Around the time of the 2008 financial crisis, things were looking bleak for Berkeley’s oral history program. Support had waned, and the office was understaffed. Some feared the end was near.

But behind the scenes, venture capital pioneer Pete Bancroft was working his magic.

To pay homage to Charles Faulhaber, who retired in 2011 after a long stint as Bancroft director, Pete Bancroft established the Charles B. Faulhaber Endowment, dedicated to supporting the ongoing work of the oral history program. (His dedication to the program followed him to the final weeks of his life, when he made a major donation.)

“We at The Bancroft Library’s Oral History Center are extremely grateful for his support over the years,” says Martin Meeker, the center’s director, noting that Pete Bancroft was the single biggest supporter in the office’s 65-year history. “With this news, we sadly bid farewell to an esteemed and gracious benefactor — our angel investor.”