Skip to main content

Artist Cafés

Crusade to Heal America

The Remarkable Life of Mary Lasker

By Judith L. Pearson

Published September 19, 2023 by Mayo Clinic Press

Have you survived a life-threatening illness?

Thank Mary Lasker.


Have you enjoyed the beautiful tulips in the middle of Park Avenue,

or the daffodils and cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C?

Thank Mary Lasker.

Have you had the chance to view the works of Monet, Renoir, Chagall, and others at various art museums across the country?

Thank Mary Lasker.


It’s nearly impossible to believe that one woman could have been so remarkable, and so incredibly influential in so many ways.  But she was!  Join us for this October Artist Café and learn more about philanthropist and art collector Mary Lasker from author Judith L. Pearson.

With fabulous homes, jaw-dropping jewels, and museum-worthy art, Mary and her advertising genius husband, Albert, lived a highly privileged life and owned one of the largest private art collections in the country.  Personally responsible for bringing Marc Chagall to the United States Mary was also personal friends with Matisse and Dali.  Yet she filled her days on a drive to transform the National Institute of Health from a single, poorly funded entity into the greatest medical research facility on the planet!   The Laskers’ next step was transforming the sleepy and ineffectual American Society for the Control of Cancer.  After reinventing it as the American Cancer Society in 1944, the Laskers oversaw a dramatic rise in its donations for the study of cancer.

“Mary couldn’t fathom why more institutions weren’t involved in seeking a cure for the terrifying and deadly disease. Although they were fabulously rich, donating their own money, Albert explained, was not the solution. Rather, the United States government needed to be her target.”

—-  From the Prologue

Thursday, October 5, 2023 | 5:30 – 7 p.m.

$20 per person

Books will be available for purchasing and signing!

  •  October 5, 2023 - October 6, 2023
     5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

More Artist Cafés coming soon!