DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — It's been well documented that T. Boone Pickens was a very generous man, something that the President of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky said he witnessed personally.
"His [life] was a life so well lived, and he's a legacy that will really endure in perpetuity here at UT Southwestern," Dr. Podolsky said.
He recalled running into Pickens just few months ago.
At 91 years old, he was visiting laboratories at the biomedical building named after him as a thank you. In 2007, Pickens and the T. Boone Pickens Foundation donated $50 million to the Southwestern Medical Foundation.
"This magnificent gift of $50 million has now become a $500 million endowment," Dr. Podolsky said. "He was one of the great benefactors of UT Southwestern, but in his generosity he did it in a way that has challenged us, so that it would have the maximum impact. He saw what the impact of research could be."
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he also witnessed his friend's generous spirit.
"He was giving it away with his right hand faster than he could make it," Jones said. "Boone was a personal friend of mine and confidant of mine, and he was inspirational."
Dr. Podolsky said Pickens wanted medical care for people broadly due to his experience of medical illness early in life.
"I've heard Boone talk about the impact of his experience of a medical illness early in his life and out of that experience where he was hospitalized for a significant
period he made the determination that when he was in a position, he would want to do everything he could to see that there was medical care for people broadly," Dr. Podolsky said.
And he assured that work is happening at UT Southwestern.
"That includes advances in cancer research, cardiovascular research, regenerative medicine," Dr. Podolsky said. "In the long term, the discoveries that could be made in those research laboratories is a way to touch lives around the world."
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