This unassuming billionaire ranks just above Sam Zell, her late husband’s business partner, because she gives away huge sums with enormous impact. Northwestern University’s cancer center: $10 million. A health care clinic in Kenya: $30 million. And $100 million for the new Children’s Hospital of Chicago, which will bear the Lurie name when it opens in June. “Ms. Lurie’s gift is even more meaningful because she once worked here as a critical care nurse and knows how philanthropy can transform care,” says Patrick M. Magoon, hospital president and CEO.
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Photograph: Bob Stefko