Lorry I. Lokey

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Lorry I. Lokey
Born (1927-03-27) March 27, 1927 (age 87)
Portland, Oregon
Education Stanford University
Occupation Business executive
Employer Business Wire
Title Chairman & CEO
Religion Judaism[1]

Lorry I. Lokey (born March 27, 1927) is an American businessperson and philanthropist. A native of Portland, Oregon, he founded the company Business Wire in 1961 and has donated in excess of $400 million to charities, with the majority of the money given to schools. He resides in San Francisco, California.[2]

Early life[edit]

Lorry Lokey was born on March 27, 1927, in Portland, Oregon and raised in a Jewish family[3][4] in Portland, attending Alameda Elementary School.[2][5][6] Growing up in Northeast Portland, he graduated from Grant High School before joining the United States Army and fighting in World War II.[7] While in the service he worked on the Pacific Stars & Stripes as an editor after the war ended.[7]

In 1949 he graduated from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.[8] While at Stanford he served as editor of the school newspaper, the Stanford Daily.[8] Upon graduation Lokey began working for United Press, now United Press International, and then at newspapers and in the public relations field.[8] One newspaper he worked for was the Longview Daily News in Longview, Washington.[7]

Business career[edit]

In 1961, Lokey started Business Wire, a news release service.[6] Founded in San Francisco, California, the company started with seven clients on the first day of business.[9] The company expanded and became an international wire service with 30 offices around the world.[6] By 2003, the company had grown to 450 employees with annual revenue of $110 million.[9] In 2006, Lokey sold Business Wire for approximately $600 million to Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett's corporation.[6]

Philanthropy[edit]

Lokey began donating large sums of money to charities in 1990. By 2007 he had donated more than $400 million, of which 98 percent was given to secondary and post-secondary education.[6] Some schools include the University of Oregon, Mills College, Stanford University, the Technion,[10] Santa Clara University, and Portland State University.[2][8][11][12] These efforts led to his listing as one of the ten highest donors in the United States by the Chronicle of Philanthropy in 2006.[6]

As of June 2014, Lokey has donated a total of $139.9 million to the University of Oregon in Eugene.[13] This includes a $74.5 million donation in 2007 that was the second most ever given to the school, and the largest donation designated for academics.[6] The 2007 donation went towards the creation of the Lorry I. Lokey Science Advancement and Graduate Education Initiative.[6]

In October 2008, the Stanford School of Medicine announced that Lokey would donate $75 million for a research facility.[14] The facility is named the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building.[14]

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