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Health Care Hall of Fame Inductees

Foster G. McGaw
Inducted in 1989

Foster G. McGaw
1897-1986
Inducted in 1989


When McGaw founded the American Hospital Supply company in Chicago in 1922, he was 25 years old. It would become the nation’s largest hospital supply company, and Baxter Travenol Laboratories would go on to buy it for $3.8 billion in 1985.

Besides being a savvy—and frugal—businessman, McGaw was a tremendously generous philanthropist. Exact figures were never kept at McGaw’s insistence, but it is believed he donated more than $100 million, and maybe more than $200 million, to some 300 hospitals, colleges and associations during his life.

McGaw would change the way medical supplies were purchased. Instead of having the physicians buy goods, he believed it would be more efficient to have the hospitals buy the supplies and give them to their doctors.

McGaw ran his business by this motto: “I would never hire anybody that I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking home to meet my family.”

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