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Madlyn Abramson 1935-2020: The Passing of a Legend

Black-and-white photo of Madlyn Abramson with memorial text

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of our beloved founding donor, Madlyn Abramson. Madlyn’s bold vision and philanthropic spirit touched the lives of countless individuals by transforming how Penn conducts cancer research and provides care to those affected by this devastating disease.

"The reputation we enjoy today as one of the nation’s preeminent cancer centers has been built on the strong foundation that Madlyn laid," said Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, director of the Abramson Cancer Center. "Our pursuit of curing cancer unites us every day to do more for our patients here in the Abramson Cancer Center and across the world, and we have Madlyn, together with her husband Leonard, to thank for the vision that set us on this path."

"Never could I be more proud that the Abramson Cancer Center bears the name of Madlyn, who has done so much to bring healing, compassion, and hope to people facing cancer. Her philanthropy has simply been transformational in the care of patients with cancer. We will all miss her dearly," shares John H. Glick, MD, former Abramson Cancer Center Director from 1985-2006.

Madlyn’s impact on cancer is profound, and her legacy at Penn will last for many generations to come.