In the fall of 1971, Prof. Walter W. Custer and Paul Dubach approached Prof. Dr. Fritz Zwicky with the idea of a «Fritz Zwicky
Foundation». Zwicky agreed to and supported this proposal, and on 23 January 1973, the Foundation Charter was signed in the Glarus city
hall. Substantial financial contributions by entrepreneur Jules Egli (Wetzikon), the municipality of Mollis, and the executive council of the canton
of Glarus, as well as by a dozen further contributors - among them Branco Weiss - amounted in a starting capital of 160,000 Swiss francs.
The Foundation was established with the firm intention and purpose of preparing for Zwicky’s departure from Pasadena, and for his return to
Switzerland. There were plans for intensive cooperation and work with young, motivated scientists and researchers in Switzerland, especially with the
Swiss National Fund for the Promotion of Scientific Research (Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung) in
field of energy conversion.
Since Zwicky’s sudden, unexpected death on 8 February 1974, the Foundation has been managing his estate, held in the Glarus cantonal library. In
1980/81, the entire correspondence, comprising circa 20,000 letters and over 100 dossiers, was systematically itemized and catalogued. Since then, the
Foundation has organized several workshops and symposia, and published a series of eight books on various aspects of morphology. The Foundation has a
«Circle of Friends» of about 550 personalities and institutions in Switzerland and abroad.