The organization is named after Rex Jackson, a Grateful Dead roadie and later road manager until his death in 1976.
In the fall of 1983, the Rex Foundation was established as a non-profit charitable organization by members of the Grateful Dead and friends. The Rex Foundation enabled the Grateful Dead to go beyond responding to multiple requests for contributions, and proactively provide extensive community support to creative endeavors in the arts, sciences, and education. The first benefit concerts for the Rex Foundation were held in the spring of 1984 at the Marin Veteran's Memorial Auditorium. Since 1984 the Rex Foundation has granted $8.2 million to some 1,000 recipients. Virtually all grant recipients are selected through the personal knowledge of decision makers as a result, grant requests are not solicited. Grants are made once or twice a year. Thanks AlligatorWhine for the upload