Abramson attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, driving a taxi for cash to cover his expenses. After graduating, he worked as a salesman for pharmaceutical company Parke-Davis, but, predicting that the massive growth in medical spending in the 1960s-70s could be addressed with prepaid medical plans, Abramson quit to found U.S. Healthcare in 1975.
In 1990, Abramson published a book, Healing Our Health Care System, attacking what he perceived to be the problems of the American health care system, which he called "nothing less than a national disgrace."
Abramson headed U.S. Healthcare from 1975 until 1996, when he sold it to Aetna for $8.3 billion. At the time of the sale, Abramson's salary was $3.85 million and he held shares worth $63.2 million. Abramson profited nearly $1 billion on sale. Abramson then served on Aetna's board of directors from 1996 to 2000. Currently, Abramson is on the Board of Directors of the NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc., the Board of Trustees of the Brookings Institution, and the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins University.
In the late 1990s, Abramson sued Inside Edition for invading his privacy when the news show covertly videotaped him and his family at their Jupiter, Florida home, as part of an expose on the lifestyles of wealthy HMO executives.
Abramson's wife, Madlyn is a cancer survivor, and the couple pledged $100 million to build the Abramson Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center. The Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life in North Wales, PA is named in honor of the couple.
- http://www.kevo.com/profile/leonardabramson Retrieved 30 January 2010.