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Claire and Leonard Tow

Donor / Claire and Leonard Tow

Married for over 60 years, Claire and Leonard Tow have dedicated their resources and energy to benefit a number of causes across New York City. At Columbia University, their influence has ranged from Barnard College and the School of Journalism to the medical center, where the Tows have been instrumental to advancing research of motor neuron diseases: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) in adults, and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in children.

The couple’s early and continuing support for Columbia’s Motor Neuron Center has driven much-needed research into the currently incurable motor neuron diseases, which cause progressive paralysis in patients and usually lead to death. “The Tows are philanthropists who feel a deep responsibility to use their wealth for the good of humanity,” said Dean Lee Goldman, M.D., during the 2012 College of Physicians and Surgeons Crown Awards presentation.

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