Mr. Davis, Founder of LDI
Leonard Davis, founder of the Colonial Penn Group, founder of the Leonard
Davis Institute of Health Economics and philanthropist, died on January
15 at the age of 76. Mr. Davis founded Colonial Penn Group in 1963, which
became one of the country's largest insurance underwriters for older Americans.
Mr. Davis--along with his wife Sofie--was instrumental in the founding of
the Leonard Davis Institute. The institute was established in 1967 in response
to a growing national need for high quality research and education to inform
policies critical to the financing and management of the nation's increasingly
costly and complex health care system. The Leonard Davis Institute remains
one of the only research institutes in the country that integrates medicine,
nursing and management expertise and applies it to solving the health care
issues of the day.
He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Penn in 1972. The
With the bold, forthwright spirit of a man with a cause, Leonard
Davis pioneered group health insurance for the aged against formidable
odds. As an initiatior of a new field and the founder of a needed range
of services for retired persons, he assisted a large, neglected group,
showing that the practical visionary is our best Samaritan.
Of strong and imaginative socal conscience, he early ascertained
that problems in health care could be helped through coordination with
the resources of management sciences. The resulting Wharton M.B.A. program
in Health Care Administration and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health
Economics have made our coalescence of medicine and management a prototype
for similar multidisciplinary efforts in other fields and at other universities.
His own healthy outlook and his vigorous energy have illustrated
to the less fortunate and the skeptical that taking chances is the most
useful of new beginnings. The Trustees of the University, believing themselves
fortunate to have his counsel, ask that he be recognized with the honorary
degree, Doctor of Laws.
Mr. Davis is survived by sons Alan and Michael; and four grandchildren.
Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 20, January 30, 2001
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