Leslie Dan

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Leslie Lewis Dan
Born (1929-11-26) November 26, 1929 (age 89)
Alma materLeslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
Known forFounder of Novopharm
ChildrenMichael D. Dan, Aubrey Dan, and Andrea Dan-Hytman
AwardsOrder of Canada
Order of Ontario

Leslie Lewis Dan, CM OOnt (born November 26, 1929), is a Canadian businessman. The founder of a successful generic drug company and a noted philanthropist, he has been awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

Early life[edit]

Born in Budapest, Dan came to Canada in 1947. As a teenage Jew, he survived the Holocaust by using false identity papers. He came to Canada in 1947 and graduated from the University of Toronto School of Pharmacy in 1954 obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree. He completed his Master of Business Administration degree in 1959. In 1960, he founded a company which distributed over-the-counter drugs.

Business ventures[edit]

In 1965, he founded Novopharm. In 2000 when he sold the company to Israel's Teva Pharmaceuticals for an estimated $430 million, it had sales of $750 million and employed 3,000 people. He then started a new company, Viventia (formerly Novopharm Biotech), which specializes in the discovery and development of products for the treatment of cancer. He is currently the chairman.

In December 2008, he had an estimated net worth of $1.02 billion (CAD), making him the 53rd richest person in Canada.[1]


Dan is well known as a philanthropist. His perspective on helping others is formed out of faith in truths from the Jewish Torah and Talmud.[citation needed] From the latter, Dan has noted writings in the Bava Bathra chapters, including: "Charity is equal in importance to all other commandments combined." And, "Who gives charity in secret is greater than Moses."[2]

His donations include:


His honours include:


He married Judith in 1958. She died in 1995. They had three children, Dr. Michael D. Dan, Aubrey Dan, and Andrea Dan-Hytman. He married Anna in 1996. They share no children. Aubrey Dan is president of Dancap Private Equity and Andrea Dan-Hytman is co-owner of Viventia Biotech Inc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Castaldo, Joe; Halas, Sarka; Leung, Calvin; McClearn, Matt (Winter 2008–2009). "The Moneyed Elite". Canadian Business. Toronto, Ontario: Rogers Publishing Limited. 81 (22): 26–41.
  2. ^ As reported on Charity Village 1995. Main Street, Resources & Library. Research Articles.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-02. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
  4. ^ "U of T Capital Projects: Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy". University of Toronto.
  5. ^ Order of Canada citation