Lorry I. Lokey

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Lorry I. Lokey
Born (1927-03-27) March 27, 1927 (age 93)
EducationStanford University
OccupationBusiness executive
EmployerBusiness Wire
TitleChairman & CEO

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 $700 million to charities, with the majority of the money given to schools. He resides in San Francisco, California.[1]

Early life[edit]

Lorry Lokey was born on March 27, 1927, in Portland, Oregon and raised in a Jewish family[2][3] in Portland, attending Alameda Elementary School.[1][4][5] Growing up in Northeast Portland, he graduated from Grant High School before joining the United States Army and fighting in World War II.[6] While in the service he worked on the Pacific Stars & Stripes as an editor after the war ended.[6]

In 1949 he graduated from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.[7] While at Stanford he served as editor of the school newspaper, the Stanford Daily.[7] Upon graduation Lokey began working for United Press, now United Press International, and then at newspapers and in the public relations field.[7] One newspaper he worked for was the Longview Daily News in Longview, Washington.[6]

Business career[edit]

In 1961, Lokey started Business Wire, a news release service.[5] Founded in San Francisco, California, the company started with seven clients on the first day of business.[8] The company expanded and became an international wire service with 30 offices around the world.[5] By 2003, the company had grown to 450 employees with annual revenue of $110 million.[8] In 2006, Lokey sold Business Wire for approximately $600 million to Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett's corporation.[5]


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.[5] Some schools include the University of Oregon, Mills College, Stanford University, the Technion,[9] Santa Clara University, Bellarmine College Preparatory, and Portland State University.[1][7][10][11] These efforts led to his listing as one of the ten highest donors in the United States by the Chronicle of Philanthropy in 2006.[5] In 2018, he donated $10 million to the University of Haifa for the construction of a new building in Downtown Haifa, Israel.[12]

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.[5] The 2007 donation went towards the creation of the Lorry I. Lokey Science Advancement and Graduate Education Initiative.[5]

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]


  1. ^ a b c “Portland native pledges $5M for library”. Portland Business Journal, May 29, 2007.
  2. ^ jweekly.com: "Local wealthy Jews pledge to give away half their fortunes" by Jacob Berkman August 12, 2010
  3. ^ JTA: "Lorry Lokey on giving it all away" By Jacob Berkman Archived 2012-06-19 at the Wayback Machine August 9, 2010
  4. ^ Public and Media Relations: Lorry I. Lokey: Biographical Information.[permanent dead link] University of Oregon. Retrieved on July 24, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h ”Lokey gives UO largest gift: $74.5M”. Portland Business Journal, October 15, 2007.
  6. ^ a b c McBride, Tess. “The man behind the money”. Archived 2007-09-26 at the Wayback Machine Oregon Daily Emerald, February 9, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c d “Lorry Lokey gives Stanford stem cell institute $33M”. San Jose Business Journal, February 27, 2007.
  8. ^ a b Caldwell, Douglas E. “Profile: Spreading the word”. San Jose Business Journal, July 4, 2003.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ “Lorry Lokey donates $1.5M to Judaic Studies at PSU”. Portland Business Journal, August 28, 2007.
  11. ^ Duxbury, Sarah. “Mills College goes to B-school”. San Francisco Business Times, April 4, 2008.
  12. ^ "How a US philanthropist aims to revitalize Haifa". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. May 31, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  13. ^ "UO sciences benefit from latest gift from Lorry Lokey". University of Oregon. June 6, 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  14. ^ a b Toews, Robert (October 9, 2008). "Stanford alum donates to medical school". The Stanford Daily. Retrieved 2008-10-09.[permanent dead link]