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Eli Lilly
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    (July 8, 1838-June 6, 1898)
    Born in Baltimore, Maryland
    Swedish descent
    Cavalry colonel in the U.S. Civil War
    Founder of the pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly & Company
    Died of cancer in Indianapolis at age 59
    Namesake of the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum (located below the Sailors' and Soldiers' Monument) in Indianapolis
    He and his family were prohibitionists.
    He was a Democrat that turned Republican at the onset of the Civil War.
    During the war he was captured and held for six months by the Confederate Army until the war's end.
    After the war he purchased a Mississippi cotton plantation, but it failed and he was forced to file bankruptcy in 1868.
    He started and dissolved several partnerships.
    The Lilly family was anti-slavery, prompting them to move from Kentucky to Indiana.
    His wife of six years died of malaria in 1866 (she was eight months pregnant at the time and the fetus could not be saved).
    Always interested in pharmaceutical chemistry, he opened a lab to manufacture drugs (May 10, 1876).
    Hiring several family members, including his son, the lab spawned several pharmacies and the family soon became wealthy and important Indianapolis businessmen.
    His efforts included the first ever gelatin-coating and sugar coating for pills as well as fruit flavoring for medicines.
    Other innovations included the mass production of medicinal drugs with focus on quality and establishing a permanent research staff.
    He championed the concept of physician's prescriptions to make sure people truly needed the medicines they were given.
    He also favored federal regulation on medicine which in 1906 led to the formation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
    He was a philanthropist, sponsoring the Indiana chapter of the Charity Organization Society (forerunner of the United Way) while his son established the Lilly Endowment that became one of the 10 largest philanthropic foundations in the U.S.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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