Our History

It all started with one, One man and one idea that was sparked by one conversation. One idea grew to the first Fisher House that has grown to over 90 Fisher Houses and supported hundreds of thousands of families. This network of comfort homes was created to provide a sense of normalcy during medical crisis and it all started with just one.

Zachary Fisher was a builder, philanthropist, and patriot. He began working in construction at the age of 16 to help support his immigrant parents. He and his two brothers formed Fisher Brothers and eventually became one of the real estate industry’s premier residential and commercial developers.

Zachary was already committed to supporting the U.S. Armed Forces, but one phone call changed the trajectory of his incredible legacy. Pauline Trost, the wife of the Chief of Naval Operations in 1986, had watched a family exit a helicopter with their luggage at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda and wondered where they would stay. Knowing the hotels in the area are costly, she knew this would be a huge burden on families facing medical crisis.

She mentioned it to her husband, who in turn told Zachary. “I’m a builder. That’s what I do for a living. I can do this.” Zach and Elizabeth Fisher dedicated more than $20 million to the construction of comfort homes for families of hospitalized military personnel to stay free of charge in support of their loved ones when they need it most.

Brick by brick, these houses were built, and a foundation was created for life-changing experiences for those who walk through Fisher House doors.

One may seem like a small number and maybe even insignificant, but Zachary Fisher is the example of how important one can be. One dollar, one supporter, one fundraiser – all part of the legacy that has changed the lives of our military, veterans, and their families.

One Idea

Pauline Trost, wife of Admiral Trost watched a family land at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda in the 1970's with their injured sailor and luggage and the image haunted her for decades. Where would they stay? How could they afford it?

Pauline Tells Her Story