Daniel K. Ludwig, born in 1897, was a successful business man who pioneered the development of supertankers, participated in oil and gas projects throughout the world, invested in the production of coal and other minerals, and developed luxury hotels and commercial real estate. Known as one of the richest men in the world in the 1960s and 70s, he dedicated virtually his entire fortune to cancer research.
“I am persuaded that eventual mastery of cancer will come only from intense and unremitting scientific exploration over many decades…The elimination of cancer will surely rank as one of man's greatest and uncontroversial achievements. That day may be long delayed. How long we cannot tell. But I do not doubt that it will surely come.”
December 17, 1974
In 1971, Mr. Ludwig established the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) and endowed it with substantially all of his international holdings. The LICR, based in Switzerland, is recognized as the largest international cancer research institute in the world, comprised of nine branches and an affiliated network of clinical and research laboratories in 15 countries.
Following Mr. Ludwig’s death in 1992, his estate endowed the ‘Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Fund for Cancer Research.’ The purpose of the Ludwig Fund is to support cancer research at six leading institutions in the U.S., including the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University oSchool of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2006, the Trustees of the Ludwig Fund distributed $120 million cash, the largest, single gift from any foundation for cancer research in the U.S., to create Ludwig Centers at the beneficiary institutions. The Centers will receive subsequent distributions to build a self-sustaining endowment.