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NYU Medical Center Changes Name to Honor Chairman of Board & Wife

April 16, 2008

Elaine & Kenneth Langone Contribute Unrestricted $200 Million Gift

New York, April 16, 2008- NYU Medical Center today announced it will be renamed the NYU Elaine A. and Kenneth G. Langone Medical Center, in honor of the chairman of its board of trustees and his wife, whose unrestricted $200 million gift is the largest in the Medical Center’s history.

The announcement was made by Robert I. Grossman, M.D., dean and CEO of the Medical Center, who said the renaming was in tribute to the Langones’ tireless efforts on behalf of the Medical Center, their generosity as champions of its mission, and their commitment to its future under its new leadership. The Langones’ contribution has already inspired additional gifts to the Medical Center, totaling $50 million.

A leading philanthropist and a major figure in business and finance, Kenneth Langone is best known as co-founder of the world’s largest home improvement retailer, Home Depot, a director of the New York Stock Exchange, and founder of the brokerage and investment banking firm Invemed. He has been a trustee of New York University since 1997 and chairman of the Medical Center’s Board of Trustees since 1999.

“What makes the Langone gift so remarkable is not just the amount, but the spirit in which it is given,” said Dr. Grossman, who became dean and CEO in July 2007, after serving as chairman of the Department of Radiology at NYU for the prior six years. “Rather than being tied to a particular program, this distinctive contribution is being given in a very open-ended way to enable us to realize our dreams of innovation and excellence. The Langones’ generosity is both a powerful endorsement and a catalyst for our efforts to ensure that our Medical Center takes its rightful place as one of the very top institutions of its kind in the world.”

“Elaine and I are designating the new NYU Langone Medical Center as our legacy to the city of New York because we believe in the quality and humanity of this Medical Center, one truly dedicated to relieving pain and suffering and giving people hope,” Mr. Langone said. “This institution has a fantastic track record for the quality of its care and for having some of the greatest doctors in the world. I have met absolutely remarkable people at all levels. But today there is a disconnect between much of the physical plant and the caliber of the work it houses. That’s why Elaine and I are choosing to make an unrestricted gift of this scale to help launch the vigorous aspirations of our inspired new leadership team.”

‘An Historic Act of Philanthropy’

“The Langones are people of legendary generosity, enthusiasm, and loyalty,” said Martin Lipton, chairman of the New York University Board of Trustees. “This gift is not only an historic act of philanthropy from devoted members of the NYU family; it is a demonstration of their belief in an idea: that we can make one of New York’s foremost health care institutions even greater,”said Mr. Lipton. “We have been enormously privileged by the Langones’ involvement with NYU for so many years, and it is only fitting to rename the Medical Center in their honor. On behalf of the entire NYU community, I wish to express our gratitude for their abiding faith in our University and our Medical Center.”

“Ken Langone is justly renowned in business for a particular set of skills: the acumen to recognize those enterprises that are bound for success, and the courage to back them, said NYU President John Sexton. “And that is just the point here: the decision by Ken and Elaine to support NYU, and in particular the Medical Center, in such an extraordinarily generous fashion is a peerless validation of all that we are striving to do to ensure the University’s place among the top institutions in the world in medicine and higher education,” said Mr. Sexton. “This gift is a major step forward for NYU; for New York City, which depends so much on the efforts of our Medical Center; and to the field of medicine, where NYU’s leadership matters so greatly. We are grateful to the Langones for their generosity, for their wisdom and guidance, and for their deep engagement with the NYU community.”

Gift to Support Multi-Year Transformation

The Langone gift will support the Medical Center’s plans for a major campus transformation, as envisioned by Dr. Grossman and his leadership team. This will include a series of initiatives to expand NYU’s clinical, educational, and biomedical sciences presence on Manhattan’s East Side. Centerpiece of the multi-year transformation will be a new hospital that is medically, aesthetically, and environmentally state-of-the-art. The multi-year undertaking incorporates long-term growth and revitalization strategies for all major components embraced by the new NYU Langone Medical Center - NYU School of Medicine, Tisch Hospital, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, NYU Cancer Institute, NYU Child Study Center, Smilow Research Center, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, and Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders - as well as campus-wide infrastructure and all off-site facilities.

In addition to his involvement with the Medical Center, Mr. Langone is also vice chairman of the Board of Overseers of the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, where the evening program in which he earned his M.B.A. is now named in his honor. In 2004, New York University presented Mr. Langone with its highest honor, The Albert Gallatin Medal, in 2004, in recognition of his business acumen, his unwavering commitment to the institution, and his philanthropic legacy.

Mr. Langone also guides some of the nation’s premier medical, cultural, and charitable institutions as a director and a trustee, including the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House, and the Robin Hood Foundation.

Mrs. Langone, a philanthropist in her own right, is extremely active in the nonprofit community. She serves on the boards of the Boys Club of New York, the Animal Medical Center, and Raymond Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (West Palm Beach, FL). She formerly served on the boards of Family Services, Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Foundation and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Manhattan. Mr. and Mrs. Langone are avid golfers and have traveled extensively throughout the world.

Langone Gift Attracts Others: Another $50 Million

The two gifts recently inspired by the Langones include a transformative $45 million being donated by philanthropists Fiona Druckenmiller and her husband, Stanley. Mrs. Druckenmiller, a former portfolio manager for the Dreyfuss Corp., has been a Trustee since 2006. The Druckenmillers’ gift, like that of the Langones, is almost entirely unrestricted and will also help support the vision articulated by the new leadership team focused on growth and advancement.

Marjorie and Walter Buckley, Jr., of Bethlehem, PA, have been friends and business associates of the Langones for 35 years. The Buckleys were original investors in Home Depot, the company that Mr. Langone co-founded and built; Mrs. Buckley conceived the name of the fledgling business. Their gift of $5 million will go to create a scholarship fund in Mr. Langone’s honor.


Located in the heart of New York City, NYU Langone Medical Center is one of the nation’s premier centers of excellence in health care, biomedical research, and medical education. For over 167 years, NYU physicians and researchers have made countless contributions to the practice and science of health care. Today the Medical Center consists of NYU School of Medicine, including the Smilow Research Center, the Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, and the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences; the three hospitals of NYU Hospitals Center, Tisch Hospital, a 726-bed acute-care general hospital; Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, the first and largest facility of its kind; NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, a leader in musculoskeletal care; and such major programs as the NYU Cancer Institute, the NYU Child Study Center, and the Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

As an integral part of an academic medical center, NYU’s clinical services are continually informed and enhanced by hundreds of ongoing basic and clinical research projects, as well as by major initiatives in translational research that promise to speed the transfer of laboratory discoveries to the patient’s bedside. Additionally, the strengths of NYU Langone Medical Center include the talents of affiliates and partners, such as Bellevue Hospital Center and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Kenneth G. Langone

Kenneth G. Langone - businessman, venture capitalist, and philanthropist - is a great American success story. He is known as an entrepreneur extraordinaire: cofounder of Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, employing 300,000 people, and founder of Invemed Associates LLC., an investment banking and brokerage firm, of which he is chairman. But his beginnings were far more modest.

A native of Roslyn Heights, New York, Langone is the son of a plumber and a cafeteria worker who mortgaged their house to send him to college, against the advice of the high school principal, who flatly told them that it would be “a waste of money.” He worked his way through college as a caddy, day laborer, and in a meat market, earning a B.A. in economics and political science from Bucknell University in under four years and becoming the first in his family to a earn a college degree. He earned an M.B.A. at NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business in an evening program that now bears his name. The school now bases part of its curriculum on his business model and counts him among its adjunct faculty.

Undeterred by setbacks, Langone went on to become an authority in the fields of brokerage and investment banking and the mastermind behind numerous successful business ventures. In addition to Invemed and Home Depot, he scored many enviable achievements in business and beyond. In 1968, as president of R.W. Presspich & Co., he took Ross Perot’s company Electronic Data Systems public, at 118 times its earnings. A former director of The New York Stock Exchange, he summarizes his business philosophy very simply: “A lot of people talk about the weather. I sell umbrellas.”

Langone, as the saying goes, has done well by doing good. A man of extraordinary generosity, he has supported innumerable charitable organizations, as well as selected medical, cultural, and educational institutions, including both his alma maters. Moreover, he has offered his leadership to a wide range of non-profit ventures, among them the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House, the Robin Hood Foundation, and Harlem Children’s Zone, where he chairs its Promise Academy charter school. He also serves on the boards of Choicepoint, Inc., YUM Brands, and Unifi, Inc. A champion of the disadvantaged, he personally oversees “Ken’s Kids,” a Home Depot-affiliated philanthropy that assists youths with disabilities.

One of Langone’s friends, Martin Lipton, is chairman of the board of New York University. It was Lipton, the veteran M&A lawyer, who got Langone involved with NYU Medical Center, which has become his largest philanthropic commitment. He has long and lavishly supported the Medical Center in its mission of scientific research, medical education, and patient care. It is, he says, his most satisfying philanthropic venture. “I don’t think I’ve ever loved a job as much as being chairman of NYU Medical Center,” he says. Chairman of the Medical Center’s Board of Trustees since 1999, he is also a Trustee of New York University and vice chairman of the Board of Overseers for NYU’s Stern School of Business. In his roles as chairman and benefactor, he has helped NYU break ground for many a new project.

A big man in every sense of the word- he stands 6’3”, with powerful hands- Langone has lived a life characterized by loyalty and faithfulness. He prefers hugs to handshakes, and ends most of his business calls with the words: “I love you, Pal.” Among his passions are golf, the Roman Catholic Church, and Italian meatballs (he prides himself in the recipe handed down by his mother). “Other people’s passions ebb and flow,” says veteran equities trader Stanley Shopkorn. “Not Kenny. He’s always 100 percent. In a very direct, friendly, forceful way, Ken can get more out of people for children, for hospitals, for anything important, than I have ever seen.”

Langone never gives numbers when he talks about his philanthropic causes, his reticence driven by his conviction that all giving is relative to the means of the giver. “It’s baggage from when I was a kid,” he says. “My father was a plumber and my mother a school cafeteria worker. I attended the Catholic Church, and after holy days, a collection program listed who gave what. My mother and father were always at the bottom of the list. It was humiliating for them. I knew it was a great sacrifice for them to give what little they could.”

Ken and his wife, Elaine, have been married for more than for 50 years. They have three grown sons: Kenneth, Jr., Bruce, and Stephen. Mrs. Langone, a philanthropist in her own right, is extremely active in the nonprofit community. She serves on the boards of the Boys Club of New York, the Animal Medical Center, and Raymond Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (West Palm Beach, FL). She formerly served on the boards of Family Services, Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Foundation and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Manhattan. Mr. and Mrs. Langone are avid golfers and have traveled extensively throughout the world.

“What we’ve given away hasn’t been a sacrifice for us,” Mr. Langone acknowledges. “What I have a limited amount of is time.” He is fond of saying that his wealth is the byproduct of making savvy investments in people and their characters, not just their business plans.

Robert I. Grossman, M.D.
Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO, NYU Medical Center

As dean and CEO of NYU Medical Center, Robert I. Grossman, M.D., leads both NYU School of Medicine and NYU Hospitals Center, the latter comprising Tisch Hospital, the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, and NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. He assumed these responsibilities on July 1, 2007.

Dr. Grossman joined NYU in 2001 as the Louis Marx Professor of Radiology, chairman of the Department of Radiology, and professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and physiology and neuroscience. In his previous position at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania., he had been professor of radiology, neurosurgery, and neurology; chief of neuroradiology; and associate chairman of radiology.

A prolific and highly respected scientist, Dr. Grossman was awarded the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1999 for his work on multiple sclerosis. He was a member (1995-2000) and chairman (1997-2000) of the Diagnostic Radiology Study Section at NIH, was appointed to the NIH’s National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (2003-2007), and, in 2004, became the first recipient of the American Society of Neuroradiology Education and Research Foundation’s annual Outstanding Contributions in Research Award in recognition of lifelong accomplishment and consistent excellence in clinical neuroscience. He is past president of the American Society of Neuroradiology, a fellow of the American College of Radiology, and a fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Alongside his award-winning research, Dr. Grossman has been a passionate educator and widely published scholar. He has trained over 100 fellows, many of whom occupy prominent positions world-wide, and authored over 300 publications and four books, including Neuroradiology: The Requisites, a best-selling textbook which has sold over 40,000 copies sold and has been translated into Japanese, Spanish and Turkish. He also served as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Neuroradiology from 2005-2007 and serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals.

Dr. Grossman received his B.S. in biology, Phi Beta Kappa, from Tulane University, and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed his internship at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston in 1973, and two years of a neurosurgery residency from 1974 to 1976 at the University of Pennsylvania, a radiology residency at the University of Pennsylvania in 1979, and a two-year fellowship in neuroradiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1981. He is board-certified in radiology and neuroradiology.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
School of Medicine

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: John Beckman | (212) 998-6848


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