Widow of Former Insurance Executive Gives $10M to Children’s Memorial Hospital

November 6, 2001

Mary Ann Smith, wife of the late J. Milburn Smith, past president of Continental Casualty Company, recently donated $10 million to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

According to Children’s Memorial Hospital’s president and CEO Patrick M. Magoon, the gift is one of largest in the hospital’s 120-year history and will greatly impact pediatric research. Mary Ann Smith acknowledged that her gift was both a personal tribute to the staff of Children’s Memorial and a memorial to her late husband.

J. Milburn Smith was raised in Chicago and educated in Chicago public schools. He rose through the ranks of Continental Casualty Company, starting out as an “office boy” at the age of 17 and eventually becoming president of the company when he was 48. Today CCC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNA Financial Corporation in Chicago. He also served on the Board of Directors of Continental Casualty, American International Group, AON and Nationwide Corporation.

Children’s Memorial has one of only five free-standing institutions nationwide devoted solely to pediatric research. The $10-million gift in memory of J. Milburn Smith will support Child Health Research, which encompasses epidemiology, medical economics, clinical trials and the results of interventions involving children’s health services and education. The results of this combined research are used to bring about lasting solutions to complex health problems facing children and families. The Child Health Research program, as well as three endowments supporting physician-scientist leaders and scientific investigations in this area, will be named to honor Mary Ann and J. Milburn Smith. The program will be developed to include nationally recognized investigators in clinical and population-based research and will provide support services for child health researchers throughout Children’s Memorial and also Northwestern University Medical School.

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