Eli Lilly (industrialist)

Eli Lilly (industrialist)

Eli Lilly (April 1, 1885January 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 1948. 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 a 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 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 and served as president. His gift in 1964 of the William Conner home in Hamilton County, Indiana to Earlham College was the genesis of the Conner Prairie living history museum. Lilly was known for his deep affection for his home state.

Lilly owned three, side-by-side large residences on Lake Wawasee just north of Our Lady Of The Lake Seminary.


* [http://www.indianahistory.org/pop_hist/people/lilly.html Indiana Historical Society]
*Lilly, Eli. Early Wawasee Days. Indianapolis: Studio Press Inc., 1960.
*Madison, James H. Eli Lilly: A Life, 1885-1977. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society., 1989 ISBN 0871950472.

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