The M. D. Anderson Foundation was created by Monroe Dunaway Anderson, one of the founding partners of Anderson, Clayton & Co., in 1936. For many years Anderson, Clayton & Co. was the world's preeminent grower, marketer and transporter of cotton and cotton related products. The other two original trustees of the Foundation were John H. Freeman and William B. Bates, partners in the law firm once known as Fulbright, Crooker, Freeman, Bates & Jaworski, now Fulbright & Jaworski. The number of trustees was increased to four in 1957 when Leon Jaworski was selected.
After Mr. Anderson passed away in 1939, the sum of $19 million came to the Foundation through his will. Horace Wilkins, Mr. Anderson's banker, was appointed by Freeman and Bates as Mr. Anderson's successor. The most significant decision ever made and acted on by the Foundation took place when Freeman and Bates, with Wilkins' concurrence, decided to create a medical center in Houston. Included among early institutions located there were Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The Texas Medical Center, Inc., and its member institutions today employ approximately 55,000 people, and the center is more than twice the size of any similar facility anywhere in the world.
Mr. Eidman and three other alumni of the University of Texas School of Law - William B. Bates, Hugh Q. Buck and A. G. McNeese, Jr. - all served as trustees of the M. D. Anderson Foundation. Because of the many contributions of Kraft Eidman to the University of Texas and to its Law School, the trustees felt that it is fitting and proper to have a magnificent courtroom in the Connally Center named for Kraft Warner Eidman.