About history
History of the Cancer Research Foundation

The Cancer Research Foundation was founded in 1954 by Maurice Goldblatt.  He took up the fight against cancer after losing his brother, Nathan Goldblatt, to the disease ten years earlier.  Immigrants who came to Chicago just after the turn of the century, Nathan and Maurice worked side by side to build the Goldblatt Brother's Department Stores, which developed into a regional chain of more than three dozen stores that helped revolutionize American retailing with its "value-oriented services" and other innovations. After Nathan's death, Maurice transferred management of the company to his younger brothers and devoted all of his time to raising funds for medical research, primarily cancer.

Maurice Goldblatt became a legend, prowling the halls of Chicago's medical centers, poking into research laboratories and asking questions: "What are you working on? Show me." "Where did you get that idea?" "Do you need any money?" He was an enthusiastic fundraiser; one newspaper at the time nicknamed him "The Millionaire Beggar." Maurice Goldblatt collected millions of dollars for cancer research from corporations and everyday people.

Maurice's instincts, vision and expert medical counsel led him to fund scientists who, then as now, were short of research funds. Many of the early investments he made in people have borne significant fruit as those scientists have gone on to make and be recognized for significant discoveries in cancer science.  Past grantees include a Nobel and Lasker Prize winner as well as a large number of researchers who are now noted by the scientific community as true innovators in cancer science.

In an effort to make sure that his efforts on behalf of cancer science would bear fruit well into the future, Maurice Goldblatt founded the Cancer Research Foundation. To this day, the CRF makes grants guided by Mr. Goldblatt's desire to fund students studying cancer, young scientists searching for new directions, and senior scientists poised on the brink of discovery.  Providing the resources to make groundbreaking cancer research possible is the reason the Cancer Research Foundation exists.

The more recent past of the Cancer Research Foundation can be found in the Cancer Research Foundation Newsletter Archives.