Ann Lurie was born in Florida and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Florida. Before starting her family, she worked in public health and pediatric intensive care nursing in rural Florida and at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She resides in Chicago where she is president of Lurie Investments and president and treasurer of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation. Following the death of her husband, Robert H. Lurie in 1990, Ann devoted herself to raising their six children while distinguishing herself as a benefactor to a number of important causes.
She is lifetime member of the Board of Trustees of Northwestern University, and in concert with her commitment to medical research and child related medical issues, Ann endowed the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, where she continues to provide support and chairs the Advisory Board. In 2010, she was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor, Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University. Also at Northwestern, she funded both the Diana, Princess of Wales Professorship in Cancer Research and a professorship in oncology at the Lurie Cancer Center and committed the lead funding for the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center of Northwestern University.
At Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, she endowed a chair in cancer cell biology and donated $1.3 million to fund the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS research. Ann pledged $100,000,000 to construct the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the 23-story technologically-advanced home of Children’s Memorial which opened in June, 2012 and where she currently serves on the Board of Directors. Lurie Children’s features 288 private patient rooms and is located adjacent to academic partners, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Prentice Women’s and Northwestern Memorial Hospitals and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. In April, 2012, Ann led fundraising efforts and co-chaired the Gala Preview debut of Lurie Children’s.
At the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ann funded the construction of the Robert H. Lurie Engineering Center and the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Tower. In an effort to promote a synergy between engineering and medicine, she endowed a faculty chair at the College of Engineering and contributed the major funding for the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Biomedical Engineering Building and the Robert H. Lurie Nanofabrication Facility. With Chicago businessman Sam Zell, she established the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan Business School; and in tribute to her mother, also a nurse, she endowed the Marion Elizabeth Blue Professorship in Children and Families in the School of Social Work along with a matching challenge grant program to encourage the establishment of fellowships.
Ann serves on the National Honorary Committee of the National Osteoporosis Foundation and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, where she funds The Lurie Prize, an annual $100,000 award that recognizes the outstanding achievements of a promising young scientist in the area of biomedical research.
Her gifts have enriched both the social services and the arts in Chicago. She is founder and former president of the Board of Directors of Gilda’s Club, Chicago. She endowed the Lurie Garden and provided cornerstone funding for the Joan and Irving J. Harris Dance Theater, both at Chicago’s Millennium Park. Ann’s lead gift launched the Greater Chicago Food Depository Campaign. She funded the Lurie Family Spay/Neuter Clinic and the Lurie Family Classroom at One Step at a Time Camp sponsored by Children’s Oncology Services of IL, Inc. and permanently endowed a Christmas party for needy children and low-income seniors at St. Vincent DePaul Center. She provided capital funding for the green roof atop the headquarters of Access Living. She sponsors 5 musicians who perform with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training arm of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
For nearly twelve years beginning in 2001, Ms. Lurie founded, funded and personally administered AID Village Clinics, Inc., a comprehensive health care initiative which offered medical care and public health services, all free of charge, to a population of approximately 100,000 semi-nomadic pastoralists, primarily Maasai, in rural southeastern Kenya. Ann’s commitment to global philanthropy includes support of the UK charity, Riders for Health, which creates and sustains health care delivery systems in Africa. In cooperation with Save the Children and ONE Love Africa, she funded construction of 30 rural schools in Ethiopia. She supports and serves on the board of Ancient Egypt Research Associates, a US-based archaeological excavation on the Giza plateau; the Trust for African Rock Art; conservation, education, reforestation and health initiatives of the Maasailand Preservation Trust; an HIV/AIDS initiative on the Burma/Chinese border; and funding for the WE-ACTx pediatric care program for HIV/AIDS patients in Rwanda. She provided transportation and funding for a Children’s Memorial Hospital team to perform corrective surgery on pediatric patients with extra hepatic portal hypertension in Nepal; and supports the research and advocacy work of Human Rights Watch in the Horn of Africa, including establishing a regional office in Nairobi. Since 2010, Ann has funded 3 medical missions to Mulago National Referral Hospital in Uganda to treat Kenyan children with severe heart disease.
In recent years, she has been honored with the Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Michigan, the Distinguished Philanthropist Award by the Chicago Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Jane Addams Making History Award from the Chicago History Museum and the Lifetime of Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League. In 2009, she received the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind, the Doctor of Public Service from the University of Florida and the Doctor of Humane Letters from the Erikson Institute. In March, 2010, she received Research America’s Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award for Sustained National Leadership. In May, 2011, she was chosen by the Chicago Consular Corps to receive the Global Citizen Award and in March, 2013, she received the Grant Goodrich Achievement Award, Northwestern University’s prestigious award bestowed to an outstanding individual who greatly enhances the University through their professional accomplishments, commitment and service. This fall 2013, UNICEF will honor her with the UNICEF Chicago Humanitarian Award
She has been recognized as a leading U.S. philanthropist by Worth, Forbes, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Life, a supplement to the New York Times, Crain’s Business Chicago, Chicago Magazine, Town and Country, Business Week and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Most recently, in the March 2012 issue, Chicago Magazine ranked Ann among the top in their listing of “The Power 100” and in their December 2012 issue, honored Ann as one of 5 “Chicagoans of the Year 2012.”