Since 1982, Intrepid has become both a New York City and an American icon and a museum dedicated to building awareness and understanding of history, science, and service through its collections, exhibitions and its public and educational programs. Our mission – to honor our heroes, educate the public and inspire our youth – continues today.
Intrepid’s own history starts with its founders Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, a couple passionate about our nation’s responsibility to honor the men and women who served in the armed forces, and their families. That passion led to the founding of this Museum and the many other important efforts to serve the military and veterans community.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Zachary began working in construction at the age of 16. Shortly thereafter, he and his brothers, Martin and Larry, joined forces to form Fisher Brothers, one of the real estate industry's premier residential and commercial developers, owning more than five million square feet of office space.
From the earliest days of his construction career, Zachary was a strong supporter of the U.S. Armed Forces. Prevented from active service in World War II due to a leg injury, Mr. Fisher drew on his building skills to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the construction of coastal fortifications. From then on, his patronage of the Armed Forces became ongoing, evolving to occupy increasing amounts of his energies.
During World War II, Elizabeth served in the USO, entertaining over 157,000 troops overseas with the Ziegfield Follies. She also volunteered to visit American troops who were hospitalized, and spent many hours at their bedsides. She and Zachary married in 1943, and in the 1970s, the Fishers’ commitment to the Armed Forces intensified still further through their leadership role in a number of major projects.
In 1978, they founded the Intrepid Museum Foundation to save a historic and battle-scarred aircraft carrier-- the USS Intrepid-- from the scrap yard. Four years of involvement with the Foundation resulted in Zachary Fisher’s spearheading the opening of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on August 3, 1982.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s success led to the development of several other important efforts to serve the military and veterans communities. The Intrepid Family of Foundations: Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Fisher House Foundation, and Intrepid Relief Fund share the crucial goal of supporting the men and women of the United States armed forces, veterans and their families.