Lasker, Mary W. (Mary Woodward), 1900-1994


Lasker, Mary W. (Mary Woodward), 1900-1994


Bio: Mary Lasker (1900-1994) and her husband Albert D. Lasker co-founded the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, which supports medical research. Between 1900 and 1940 major sources of financing for medical research were nongovernmental, with private foundations and universities the principal sponsors and hosts of basic research. Lasker worked some of these with voluntary organizations and took a major role in reorganizing the American Cancer Society. She came to believe that public funding support was required in the fight against disease. Together with Florence Mahoney, who helped on the political front, the Lasker lobby cultivated key figures in Congress and encouraged doctors and research scientists to ask for more money from Congress, leading to increases in governmental support of medical research and education.


Mary Lasker, President Lyndon B. Johnson. Oval Office, White House, Washington DC, 10/10/1968. Photo # a6940-12 by Yoichi Okamoto. White House Photo Office collection, LBJ Presidential Library. Public domain.


LBJ Connection: Member, Mrs. Johnson's Committee for a More Beautiful Capital; member, Executive Committee of the National Committee Against Mental Illness; advocate for governmental support of medical research