Ann Lurie, namesake of Chicago children's hospital, dies at age 79

Ann Lurie, the namesake of the Chicago children's hospital, died early Monday at age 79.

Ann was the president of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation in Chicago that provides funding for medical treatment, research, education and prevention.

She died due to complications from a recent illness, a spokesperson for her family said.

"Words cannot adequately convey the sadness we share with Ann’s family and friends, the entire Lurie Children’s team, and the scores of those she touched across Chicago and far beyond," said Tom Shanley, president and CEO of Lurie Children’s Hospital. "Her gift to Lurie Children’s, influenced by her own experience as a pediatric nurse, was transformative to the health and well-being of our region’s children. Lurie Children’s will be forever grateful that Ann provided us a legacy within which to provide the highest quality, most compassionate care and one in which we are relentlessly dedicated to follow her mantra to ‘do a good deed daily.’"

In 2007, she pledged $100 million to help fund the construction of the state-of-the-art Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Ann Lurie | Provided

"When I was young, my mother encouraged me to ‘do a good deed daily.’ Following her advice as a teenager gave me a great deal of personal pleasure, and now, many years later, it still feels good," Ann once said.

Ann lost her husband, Bob Lurie, to colon cancer in 1990 when he was 48 years old. In his memory, she endowed the Cancer Center at Northwestern University. The center is dedicated to research and treatment. 

Ann is survived by her husband, Mark Muheim – who she married in 2014, her six children, 16 grandchildren and Muheim’s two sons.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson released the following statement:

"With the passing of Ann Lurie, the City of Chicago loses a true flagbearer of philanthropy whose contributions have touched countless lives. Her dedication, most notably seen through the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, reflects a lifetime committed to helping others. Ann's spirit of generosity and her selfless drive to make the world a better place will forever inspire the people of our city. I am extending my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends, as her legacy of kindness and compassion will be cherished and remembered always."