I was saddened, like many here at Intel, to hear of the passing of former Intel Chairman and CEO Andrew Grove. Many kind words have been spoken about Andy in the past few days but I wanted to add my own tribute here, and talk a little more of his philanthropic work specifically around healthcare and education.
Andy had deeply personal reasons to donate tens of millions of dollars to translational cancer research and neurodegenerative diseases following diagnoses of cancer in 1995 and Parkinson’s disease in 2000.
He took on the battle with these diseases by immersing himself in the detail of the condition, the potential treatments and thoughts about how as a patient he could receive a better outcome. And how he could receive a better outcome often started with Andy looking at how existing data could be put to better use and how it could be collated and analysed more effectively in the future, not just for himself but for future generations.
As an advisor to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Andy was focused on more and faster research into the disease which would affect him from 2000. Donating over $20m to Parkinson’s research and bequeathing $44m more to the Foundation was just one aspect of his generosity, whereas his drive to turn medical research into something practical for patients was his priority.
Better use of data to make informed decisions was a message Andy would carry with him wherever he went, be it Government, Medical Researchers and to colleagues here at Intel. I highly recommend reading this Forbes article on Andy which outlines in great detail his multi-faceted generosity in the field of healthcare.
But it wasn’t just healthcare that motivated Andy to give up his time and personal wealth, education was a real focus for him too. Specifically, Andy was hugely passionate about the value of vocational training, funding scholarships initially to schools and then to community colleges. He was vociferous and generous in equal measure when it came to illustrating that a vocational education is a real opportunity to provide a successful pathway to a thriving career.
Andy’s recent passing really brings into focus the importance of the work we are doing here at Intel today. We’re pushing ahead at a rapid rate to achieve All-in-One-Day diagnosis and personalized treatment for cancer patients and our partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is working hard to harness the power of big data to measure Parkinson's disease symptoms and progression.
His memory will live on and his passion for healthcare, education and technology will drive us all forward to make these big advances, more quickly.