Eli Lilly and Co. and Donors and Philanthropy

Eli Lilly and Co. heiress Ruth Lilly dies at 94

December 31, 2009

Ruth Lilly, a prolific philanthropist and the last surviving great-grandchild of pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly, has died at age 94.

A family spokesman says Lilly died Wednesday in Indianapolis.

Over the course of her life, she gave away much of her inheritance from the Eli Lilly and Co. fortune. Court documents showed in 2002 that Lilly had bequeathed nearly $500 million to charitable and arts-related groups.

That included an estimated $100 million to the influential literary magazine "Poetry."

A family statement released Thursday said that during her later years Lilly's philanthropy widened her circle of contacts and interests and her life "became much more interesting and rewarding."

Lilly was married for more than 40 years but her marriage ended in divorce, with no children.

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