Louis Lloyd Winter (1924-1965) was born in Toronto, the youngest of six children. He studied biochemistry at the University of Toronto, and after graduating with a Master’s Degree, borrowed $10,000 from his father to open his first company in the family garage. There, he would process blood work and pregnancy tests for local med offices, and his business skyrocketed quickly. Seeing that prescription drugs were way too expensive, and many could not afford them, Winter started a generic pharmaceuticals company. By 1959, he had to purchase a whole building for his operations and created Empire Laboratories Ltd. By 1964, it was Canada’s largest pharmaceutical, offered over 100 products, and supplied the US military through a branch in Puerto Rico. The following year, Winter’s life was cut short at the young age of 41 when he had a sudden aneurysm. 17 days later, his wife died of leukemia. The company was taken over by their nephew Bernard Charles Sherman (b. 1942). “Barry” Sherman lost his father when he was just 9, and grew up working for his uncle’s drug company. After graduating from the University of Toronto, then getting a Ph.D in astronautics at M.I.T, he was able to take charge of Empire. By 1974, he sold Empire and instead launched Apotex, growing it to become Canada’s largest generic drug maker. Today, the company ships its products to 115 countries and has branches in biotechnology, medical, and chemical research. Meanwhile, its charitable arm – the Apotex Foundation – has donated over $17 million in free medications. Sherman himself has donated over $50 million to the UJA, as well as a number of other philanthropic causes in the Toronto area and beyond. He is currently Canada’s 7th wealthiest man, and continues to head Apotex with a passion to bring affordable medication to the masses.
UPDATE: Tragically, Barry Sherman and his wife Honey Sherman were found dead in their home on December 15, 2017.
Words of the Week
Wherever I go, I’m always going to Israel. – Rebbe Nachman
David Blaine White (b. 1973) was born in Brooklyn to a Puerto Rican father, and a Russian-Jewish mother who raised him alone through tough times. He saw his first magic act on a subway at age 4 and was inspired. He loved drama, too, and would appear in several TV commercials and soap operas. By 21, he was already doing magic for wealthy private audiences and celebrity parties. Blaine recorded one of these performances and sent the tape to ABC, who were hooked immediately. At 24, Blaine’s first TV special, Street Magic, was aired and has since been hailed as revolutionizing the world of magic, with fellow magicians Penn & Teller even claiming it was the “biggest breakthrough done in our lifetime.” His subsequent amazing stunts included entombing himself in a 3-ton underground tank for 7 days, encasing himself in a block of ice for over 63 hours, standing atop a 100-foot high (and 22 inch wide) pillar for 35 hours straight, going 44 days without food while sealed in a case above London’s River Thames (losing 25% of his body weight!), freeing himself from a rotating gyroscope on which he spun for 52 hours straight, and holding his breath for over 17 minutes. Blaine uses his magic for good, too, performing at countless children’s hospitals and charity events, and fundraising for organizations like the Salvation Army (from whom he’d received clothing as a child). He also holds several world records. David Blaine joins other great Jewish magicians, including past Jews of the WeekHarry Houdini and David Copperfield.
Words of the Week
The Jewish people, no matter where they are, they become the best in the world.
– Joseph Mengele, Nazi Officer and Physician