News letters
Aug 26

Bernice Goldblatt 1913 - 2009

On August 6th, we lost Bernice Goldblatt, our Chairman Emeritus and one of the Cancer Research Foundation's greatest assets.

Mrs. Goldblatt was a singular person; able to speak with passion about the things she believed in and help others see that her passion was justified. She was a wonderful spokesperson for the Cancer Research Foundation and the innovative cancer science we seek to fund.  She could speak to both the emotional and rational reasons to support direct research in cancer; she had lost both family and friends to the disease in her lifetime, but firmly believed that the best way to battle cancer is to look for its medical and scientific roots, without allowing those investigations to be colored by sentiment.

She was a stunning, elegant and kind woman, one who left a strong positive impression on everyone she met.  On remembering Mrs. Goldblatt, from his first interaction with her nearly 40 years ago as an early grantee of the Cancer Research Foundation, Edward Kaplan, Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago, described Bernice Goldblatt as a woman of great beauty, intelligence, warmth, compassion and dignity.

Mrs. Goldblatt served as chairman of the Cancer Research Foundation for more than 20 years, taking over that post when her husband, our founder Maurice Goldblatt died.  Even before she took an official position on the CRF Board, she was a critical part of its success. Another great CRF ally, Dr. Joseph Kirsner, still remembers fondly how Mrs. Goldblatt's vibrant personality was essential to the CRF's success in both fundraising and grant making. Without her, who knows whether the Foundation would have had such a successful early start?

One of Bernice Goldblatt's particular interests at the Cancer Research Foundation was its dedication to funding young investigators, making sure that the best young minds and new ideas focused on cancer science are supported. She was particularly proud of the Bernice Goldblatt Fellowship, a permanent endowment created to mark the Cancer Research Foundation's 50th Anniversary.  This fellowship was created to annually support a first year graduate student with a particular interest in cancer science.  Not only did Mrs. Goldblatt enjoy the idea of meeting a new first-year graduate student every year, she truly relished the opportunity to bring past recipients of the fellowship back together every year, to hear how their research was progressing and what new directions they were pursuing.  She was very interested in the work these students and researchers were doing, in what they thought and how their theories were evolving, and I know that among the past recipients of the Bernice Goldblatt Fellowship, many recipients count themselves lucky to have met this special lady, in addition to the funding they received.

Mrs. Goldblatt firmly believed in the mission of the Cancer Research Foundation, that the best way to gain in the battle against cancer is to support new scientists and innovative new ideas in scientific research.  She knew that if we did not continue to make progress in the lab, we would not be able to increase detection or survival, and for more than 20 years, she led the Cancer Research Foundation in its mission to fund this progress.  Having lived a wonderful life for 96 years, she leaves behind a son and daughter, five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, all of whom will miss her a great deal. They will also treasure their memories of what a wonderful person she was and how strongly she championed causes like the CRF, and so will we all. 

If, like so many others, you have been inspired in some way by Mrs. Goldblatt's commitment to finding the cure, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the Cancer Research Foundation to help ensure that her vision lives on.