The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is a non-profit organization of journalists and photographers who report on the entertainment industry activity and interests in the United States for media (newspaper, magazine and book publication, television and radio broadcasting) predominantly outside the U.S. The HFPA consists of about 90 members from approximately 55 countries with a combined following of more than 250 million. It conducts the annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Los Angeles every January, which honors notable examples of film and television and achievements in entertainment businesses.
The first Golden Globes awardees were for the cinema industry in early 1944 with a ceremony at 20th Century Fox. There, Jennifer Jones was awarded Best Actress honors for The Song of Bernadette which also won for Best Film, while Paul Lukas took home Best Actor laurels for Watch on the Rhine. Awards were presented in the form of scrolls.
The following year members came up with the idea of presenting winners with a golden globe encircled with a strip of motion picture film and mounted on a pedestal.
In 1950, differing philosophies among members caused a schism within the organization, resulting in a split into two separate groups: The Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association and the Foreign Press Association of Hollywood. The separation ended in 1955 when the journalists reunited under the collective title The Hollywood Foreign Press Association with firm guidelines and requirements for membership.
In 1955, the Golden Globes began honoring achievements in television as well as in film. The first honorees in the Best Television Show category that year were Dinah Shore, Lucy & Desi, The American Comedy and Davy Crockett.
Membership meetings are held monthly, and the officers and directors are elected annually. A maximum of five journalists can be admitted to the organization each year. To retain "Active" status, each member must be currently accredited by the Motion Picture Association of America and must submit clippings of their work every year to renew their active status or be reassigned to a non-voting affiliate status.
Requirements for active membership include primary residence in Southern California, attendance in at least four monthly general membership meetings and a minimum of four published articles or photographs per year outside the US. The HFPA does not release a list of acceptable publications for those articles but they are not restricted to popular, mainstream ones. Most recent President Lorenzo Soria was elected President of Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 2019. Soria later died on August 7, 2020.
The HFPA is a nonprofit organization that donates funds to entertainment-related charities. The Golden Globe Awards brings in about $10 million from its television broadcast each year. The HFPA hosts an annual grants banquet to distribute funds; $2.1 million was donated to nonprofits in 2015. According to the HFPA, since 1990 more than $23.9 million was donated to charity up to 2015 and used to fund scholarships and grants.