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April 12, 2002


Emory Eye Center Receives $3 Million Bequest From Stanley Whitaker, Late Newspaper Executive

(ATLANTA) The Emory Eye Center recently received a bequest of more than $3 million from the estate of Stanley Whitaker and his wife, Myrna Newell Whitaker. A longtime newspaper man and former resident of Atlanta (Cobb County), Mr. Whitaker made the gift through a living trust to foster research and treatment of eye disease. To honor Mr. and his wife, the Eye Center has created the Louis Stanley and Myrna Newell Whitaker Endowment Fund.

Mr. Whitaker died at 100 years of age in 1999 at his residence in Vero Beach, Fla., In his illustrious journalistic career he was an executive with United Press International (UPI) at offices in Kansas, Denver, Dallas and Chicago. By 1935 he was the Southeast division manager of UPI in Atlanta and served in that position for more than 21 years, retiring in 1956.

Mr. Whitaker is well known in Atlanta for having bought the Marietta Daily Journal (MDJ) in 1948 from William Lloyd Harris, along with UPI associate Brooks Smith. Several years later, they merged the newspaper with Brumby Press and the weekly Cobb County Times. The company, Neighbor Newspapers, now publishes the MDJ and 29 other suburban newspapers in the Atlanta metro area.

After his retirement in the mid-1950s, Mr. Whitaker became a media broker for Blackburn Company, a firm that sold newspapers, radio and television stations.

Because of his concern and interest in eye care and vision, Mr. Whitaker wanted his gift to benefit research and new treatment for people who have vision problems. Already a philanthropist, his interest in illiteracy aptly combined with his interest in vision problems to create this major gift for the Emory Eye Center.

Thomas M. Aaberg Sr., MD, director of the Emory Eye Center says, "We are most grateful for this generous gift from Stanley Whitaker. It is particularly gratifying that he chose Emory, one of the country's most prestigious Eye Centers, as the recipient of his largess."

"This generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Whitaker will greatly assist our faculty at the Emory Eye Center as they continue their leadership in uncovering answers to complex eye diseases and developing innovative treatments for care," says Emory School of Medicine Dean Thomas J. Lawley, MD. "With the help of this funding, we anticipate exciting discoveries, building and expanding the Eye Center's already laudable track record of success."

Note to editors: Digital photography is available by calling 404-778-3711.

Cutline: At the recent luncheon honoring the Whitaker Endowment Fund, Thomas M. Aaberg Sr., MD, director of the Emory Eye Center (in center) with Otis Brumby Jr. (on left) and Tread Davis (on right), representatives of the Neighbor Newspapers and longtime associates of Mr. Whitaker.

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