#3432B – 2009 78c Distinguished Americans: Mary Lasker

Fleetwood made its first cover in 1941. In 2007, Mystic bought Fleetwood and is proud to continue creating Fleetwood First Day Covers. Fleetwood is the Leading First Day Cover producer, making covers continuously since 1941. Fleetwood is the only FDC company that makes a cover for every U.S. postage stamp issued.
U.S. 3432B
78¢ Mary Lasker
Distinguished Americans

Issue Date: May 15, 2009
City: Washington, DC
Printed by: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed and Engraved
Perforations:
Serpentine Die Cut11.25 x 10.75
Color: Multicolored
 

Happy Birthday Mary Lasker

Health activist and philanthropist Mary Woodward Lasker was born on November 30, 1900, in Watertown, Wisconsin.

Lasker and her parents suffered from health issues for many years.  Her parents had hypertension and she suffered from bad ear infections.  The lack of medical treatments for these conditions left Lasker dissatisfied with the state of medicine.  This would inspire a lifetime commitment to medical research and drug development. 

Lasker attended the University of Wisconsin and Radcliffe College, graduating in 1923 with a degree in art history.  She did her postgraduate study at Oxford and then settled in New York City, where she worked in an art gallery.  Over the years she built one of the best private art collections in the country.  After a brief marriage, Lasker found some success selling affordable fabrics that pictured movie stars. 

Mary remarried in 1940 to Albert Lasker, a pioneer in modern advertising.  Albert shared Mary’s love of art and interest in improving public heath.  Together the Laskers hoped to make health insurance more easily available to all Americans and to improve overall health by contributing to research on diseases.  To aid in their quest, they founded the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation in 1942.  The foundation would soon offer the country’s top prizes in medical and clinical research and journalism.  

The Laskers were strong supporters of President Harry Truman’s recommendation for universal health insurance.  It faced strong opposition however, so the Laskers focused their efforts on medical research.  While Lasker was neither a doctor nor a researcher, her work revolutionized the medical community.  Over the years she concentrated on cancer, mental health, heart disease, arthritis, and hypertension.

Lasker used her social standing, powers of persuasion, and personal wealth to promote the rapid growth of biomedical research.  Doctor Jonas Salk, who developed the first effective polio vaccine, called Lasker “a matchmaker between science and society.”

Prior to Lasker’s advocacy, private universities and pharmaceutical companies typically conducted expensive medical research.  Decades could pass before physicians learned the outcome and applied the findings to their patients.

Lasker campaigned for greater cooperation between scientists and the medical community as well as for government funds to finance research.  Confronted with opposition, Lasker countered, “If you think research is expensive, try disease.”

Lasker’s efforts led to an increase in money given to the National Institutes of Health and the establishment of research centers focused on specific diseases, including the National Cancer Institute.  Over the years she served as director, chairman, or trustee of several organizations including the American Cancer Society, the United Cerebral Palsy Research and Education Foundation, and the National Committee for Mental Hygiene. 

In addition to medical research, Lasker was also passionate about urban beautification.  She supported the planting of trees and flowers in Washington, DC and New York.  She also pushed for the installation of lighting and fountains.  A pink tulip was named after her in the 1980s.

For her contributions, Lasker received dozens of honorary degrees and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.  She died on February 21, 1994.  Upon her death, she left over 10 million to the Lasker Foundation to continue her life’s work. 

Click here for more about Lasker and the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. 

Read More - Click Here


  • 1998-2019 U.S. Semi-Postal Stamps, plus FREE 2014 Imperforate Semi-Postal, 8 stamps 1998-2019 U.S. Semi-Postal Stamps

    Semi-postal stamps are issued to serve a double purpose.  Priced higher than regular postage, they pay the current mailing rate plus an added amount contributed to a charitable cause.  As of 2019, eight semi-postal (sometimes called "fundraising") stamps had been issued.  Now you can get them in one easy order and receive the B5a imperforate semi-postal FREE!

    $13.50
    BUY NOW
  • 1990s First Day Covers, Collection of 100 100 First Day Covers Issued During the 1990s
    Some of the stamps I saw in my set of 100 covers highlighted Looney Tunes characters, statehood anniversaries, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Elvis Presley, Dorothy Parker, and more.  Order your set today.
    $49.95
    BUY NOW
  • 1922-32 Regular Issues, 24 stamps, used 1922-32 Regular Issues, 24 used stamps

    This set of 24 postally used 1922-32 regular issues stamps is a great addition to your collection. Order today to receive: 571, 610, 632, 634, 635, 636, 637, 638, 639, 640, 641, 642, 653,684, 685, 692, 693, 694, 697, 698, 699, 700, 701, and 720.

    $6.25
    BUY NOW

U.S. 3432B
78¢ Mary Lasker
Distinguished Americans

Issue Date: May 15, 2009
City: Washington, DC
Printed by: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed and Engraved
Perforations:
Serpentine Die Cut11.25 x 10.75
Color: Multicolored
 

Happy Birthday Mary Lasker

Health activist and philanthropist Mary Woodward Lasker was born on November 30, 1900, in Watertown, Wisconsin.

Lasker and her parents suffered from health issues for many years.  Her parents had hypertension and she suffered from bad ear infections.  The lack of medical treatments for these conditions left Lasker dissatisfied with the state of medicine.  This would inspire a lifetime commitment to medical research and drug development. 

Lasker attended the University of Wisconsin and Radcliffe College, graduating in 1923 with a degree in art history.  She did her postgraduate study at Oxford and then settled in New York City, where she worked in an art gallery.  Over the years she built one of the best private art collections in the country.  After a brief marriage, Lasker found some success selling affordable fabrics that pictured movie stars. 

Mary remarried in 1940 to Albert Lasker, a pioneer in modern advertising.  Albert shared Mary’s love of art and interest in improving public heath.  Together the Laskers hoped to make health insurance more easily available to all Americans and to improve overall health by contributing to research on diseases.  To aid in their quest, they founded the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation in 1942.  The foundation would soon offer the country’s top prizes in medical and clinical research and journalism.  

The Laskers were strong supporters of President Harry Truman’s recommendation for universal health insurance.  It faced strong opposition however, so the Laskers focused their efforts on medical research.  While Lasker was neither a doctor nor a researcher, her work revolutionized the medical community.  Over the years she concentrated on cancer, mental health, heart disease, arthritis, and hypertension.

Lasker used her social standing, powers of persuasion, and personal wealth to promote the rapid growth of biomedical research.  Doctor Jonas Salk, who developed the first effective polio vaccine, called Lasker “a matchmaker between science and society.”

Prior to Lasker’s advocacy, private universities and pharmaceutical companies typically conducted expensive medical research.  Decades could pass before physicians learned the outcome and applied the findings to their patients.

Lasker campaigned for greater cooperation between scientists and the medical community as well as for government funds to finance research.  Confronted with opposition, Lasker countered, “If you think research is expensive, try disease.”

Lasker’s efforts led to an increase in money given to the National Institutes of Health and the establishment of research centers focused on specific diseases, including the National Cancer Institute.  Over the years she served as director, chairman, or trustee of several organizations including the American Cancer Society, the United Cerebral Palsy Research and Education Foundation, and the National Committee for Mental Hygiene. 

In addition to medical research, Lasker was also passionate about urban beautification.  She supported the planting of trees and flowers in Washington, DC and New York.  She also pushed for the installation of lighting and fountains.  A pink tulip was named after her in the 1980s.

For her contributions, Lasker received dozens of honorary degrees and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.  She died on February 21, 1994.  Upon her death, she left over 10 million to the Lasker Foundation to continue her life’s work. 

Click here for more about Lasker and the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation.