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Philanthropist Ruth Lilly Dies

Patricia Sullivan

Ruth Lilly, 94, a prolific philanthropist who was the last surviving great-grandchild of pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly, died yesterday in Indianapolis. We'll have a full obituary later, but two things caught my attention.

She gave an estimated $100 million to the influential literary magazine "Poetry," which had rejected Lilly's submissions for years. She didn't take the rejections personally; after all,the magazine has published the works of poets William Butler Yeats and Dylan Thomas.

The other interesting bit is that she battled depression for most of her life but was helped greatly by Eli Lilly & Co.'s blockbuster antidepressant Prozac, which came on the market in 1988.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  December 31, 2009; 12:18 PM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan  
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