Purdue Pharma co-founder Raymond Sackler dies

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Purdue Pharma co-founder Raymond Sackler dies

By David Salazar - 07/20/2017

GREENWICH, Conn. — Purdue Pharma co-founder Dr. Raymond Sackler has passed away at age 97 following a brief illness, the company announced this week. In addition to his work pioneering the psychopharmacology field, he also was known for his philanthropic efforts.

Sackler completed his undergraduate education at New York University and began pursuing his medical degree in Glasgow, Scotland, where he served as a volunteer plane spotter in the U.K. home guard in the first year of World War II. He completed his medical degree at the Middlesex University School of Medicine in 1944, and was certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

In 1952 he and his brother Dr. Mortimer Sackler purchased Purdue and set up its headquarters in New York City. For the past 65 years, the company has grown into a global pharmaceutical business. Sackler, alongside his brothers Mortimer and Arthur Sackler, also opened founded the Creedmoor Institute for Pscyhobiological Studies in New York, where they researched the biology of schizophrenia and psychosis.

His philanthropic efforts included support for Convergence Research — a field that brings together mathematics, physics and engineering sciences to better understand biology as it transforms from a qualitative to a quantitative field. Research supported by Sackler’s philanthropy include the sequencing of the human genome, the emergence of nanotechnology and advances in biological imaging.

Also associated with his philanthropic efforts — both directly and through the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation — are the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Sackler Wing, Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine and the Freer and Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution.

During his lifetime, Sackler was conferred honorary degrees from Tel Aviv University, the University of Connecticut and Tufts University, as well as knighthoods in England, France and the Netherlands.

He is survived by his wife Beverly and two sons.

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