Eli Lilly (industrialist)

Eli Lilly (Industrialist)

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Eli Lilly (industrialist)

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Eli Lilly (April 1, 1885 – January 24, 1977) was a pharmaceutical industrialist and philanthropist from Indiana, United States.


Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Eli Lilly was President of Eli Lilly and Company. He was named for his grandfather, Colonel Eli Lilly, who founded the family business. After graduating from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1907, Lilly joined the family pharmaceutical business. He was president of the company from 1932 to 1947. Following that he was chairman of the board. He showed great management skill and concern for the welfare of his employees.

Lilly was also known for his philanthropic activities and as founder of the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. along with his father J.K. Lilly Sr. and his brother J.K. Lilly Jr., which has become one of the largest private foundations in the United States.


Lilly was interested in history and archaeology and founded the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana (now Indiana Landmarks) to aid in the preservation of structures significant to the historical and cultural development of Indiana. Lilly and his family established the Lilly Endowment in 1937. He was on the board of trustees of the Indiana Historical Society, served as its president and later created a substantial endowment, making the IHS one of the wealthiest organizations of its kind in the United States. His gift in 1964 of the William Conner home in Hamilton County, Indiana to Earlham College was the...
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