Mortimer Sackler

Biography of Mortimer Sackler

Mortimer Sackler (seated)
Mortimer Sackler (seated)

Dr Mortimer Sackler (1916-2010) was an American physician and entrepreneur. He was Chairman and co-Chief Executive of Purdue Pharma, a leading American pharmaceuticals company. Alongside his brothers Arthur and Raymond, he used his fortune from the pharmaceutical industry to become a prominent philanthropist.

Sackler was born on 7th December 1916 in Brooklyn to Isaac and Sophie (nee Greenberg), Polish Jewish immigrant Brooklyn grocers. After attending Erasmus Hall High School, Sackler sailed to the UK in 1937 and, with the help of Glasgow’s Jewish community, enrolled at Anderson’s College of Medicine, an institution that became part of the University of Glasgow in 1947.

He attended the College between 1937-1939. His brothers Arthur and Raymond also studied at Anderson’s College in the years 1937-39 and 1938-40 respectively. Mortimer Sackler was prevented from finishing his degree at the University by the outbreak of the Second World War and finished his MD degree in Massachusetts. Dr Mortimer Sackler and his brothers bought the New York pharmaceuticals company Purdue Frederick Co in 1952. All three were research psychiatrists.

Mortimer Sackler received an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow in 2001 for his support of the University.

Dr Mortimer Sackler died on 24th March 2010.


Mortimer Sackler
Born 7 December 1916.
Died 24 March 2010.
University Link: Benefactor, Honorary Graduate, Student
GU Degree:
Record last updated: 18th Feb 2022

University Connections

University Roles

  • Benefactor
  • Honorary Graduate
  • Student

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