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Health activist Mary Woodard Lasker

Mary Woodard Lasker has been called the “fairy godmother of medical research” for the way she facilitated symbiotic connections between the will and the way. Jonas Salk said, “She is a matchmaker between science and society.”

When Suzy and I were growing up, Mary Lasker was a role model, and as I was beginning my career in business, I recognized the political savvy and social grace she wielded with the precision of a scalpel. She was responsible for the perennial daffodils visible from Lady Bird Johnson’s window at the White House—and for the Congressional declaration of a national war on cancer.

The lesson wasn’t lost on me back then, but I only recently encompassed its full meaning. Read more about what I learned from Mary Lasker in Promise Me.