Tracy and Katherine McGregor

Tracy McGregor met Katherine Whitney, one of Detroit’s wealthiest heiresses, while seeking her father’s financial support for the McGregor Mission. Already devoted to charitable work, Katherine took special interest in helping the economically disadvantaged. Following their 1901 marriage, the McGregors lived modestly, reserving most of Katherine’s considerable fortune for philanthropic endeavors on behalf of the citizens of Detroit and southeastern Michigan.

In their philanthropy the McGregors stood out not only for the size and sheer number of their gifts, but especially for their active engagement. Although plagued by ill health, Katherine spent much of her time volunteering at the charities they supported. Tracy lectured widely on social problems and successfully enlisted many of Detroit’s leading citizens in the struggle to reform municipal government and provide better public education and social services. Together they significantly improved the lives of residents in the rapidly growing and industrializing “Motor City.”