The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) was conceived when the two original feuding groups responsible for the Golden Globes put their differences to rest and decided to merge. The Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association and the Foreign Press Association of Hollywood became the HFPA in 1955. The HFPA has expanded over the years and today consists of members representing approximately 55 countries and has a collective readership of more than 250 million. The organization is run by a president, vice president, executive secretary, treasurer and board of directors who are elected yearly from members. The members meet monthly and the HFPA also has four full-time employees, who are non-members. The HFPA receives a substantial amount from licensing fees for the network broadcasting rights to The Golden Globe Awards and also from other events such as the Golden Globe Awards pre-shows.
The original concept of the HFPA named the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association was formed in 1943 and had the motto “Unity Without Discrimination of Religion or Race.” The group had humble beginnings and gathered at private homes and picked the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel as a meeting point once the membership started growing. Then organization president Marina Cisternas came up with the idea for the award statuette. It was to be a golden globe encircled with a strip of motion picture film, and mounted on a pedestal. This came right after the first informal function in which scrolls were awarded to the winners in their respective categories.
In 1950 after a rift among members caused by differing philosophies, the organization split into two. The Hollywood Foreign Correspondents started giving out the Golden Globes and the Foreign Press Association of Hollywood gave out the Henriettas, named after their president, Henry Gris. This went on till 1955, when the hatchet was buried and both groups united again to form the ‘Hollywood Foreign Press Association’. The rest as they say “is history”. In 1955 the Golden Globes also began honoring achievements in television along with films. Today, the Golden Globes recognize achievements in 25 categories; 14 in motion pictures and 11 in television.
The HFPA has a few particular missions that they are driving towards. These include: reaching out to foreign countries and forging a healthy relationship and distributing information regarding the American culture as portrayed in motion pictures and television., To focus the public’s eye on the best in motion pictures and television all over the globe by recognizing and awarding the Golden Globe Awards to deserving candidates. The organization also contributes regularly to non-profit organizations involved in educational, cultural and humanitarian activities. Scholarships are also given out to reputed institutions to encourage and promote interest in the field of arts particularly in the field of entertainment. The HFPA has been known for its philanthropic spirit and gave out $1,249,000 in grants and scholarships in 2009. Over the span of 15 years, the Hollywood Foreign Press association has presented a little over $10 million as financial grants to reputed film schools and non-profit organizations to inculcate and develop talents in the field of arts.