History and Significance

The Gold Foundation launched the Humanism in Medicine award in 1991 at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey began replicating these awards nationwide in 1998, with participation from The Gold Foundation. In 2003, thanks to a generous donation from The Tow Foundation, these awards became solely sponsored and administered by The Gold Foundation.

About Leonard Tow

Leonard Tow has been a student and teacher all of his life.  He was the first in his family to pursue higher education, studying at Brooklyn College and the School of Business at Columbia University.  He pursued a masters degree and Ph.D. while working as an educator at Hunter College, and then at his two alma maters. As a result of a successful business career, Leonard used his means to become an active philanthropist. Known for a strong caring nature and a desire to create opportunities for others to help themselves, his giving has focused on youth and criminal justice, higher education, culture, journalism and medicine.

A role model for many, Leonard has lived his life with great compassion and empathy. He has made himself accessible and offered personal assistance and counseling to friends and colleagues.  By funding medical programs and research, he has become a strong advocate and supporter of humanism in medicine.  The award has been named The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a fitting tribute to a man who has lived his life with great compassion and respect for others, and an advocate for students and humanitarian healthcare.

Leonard Tow Headshot