Jan 16 2014
Lois Berrodin Pope is a well-known American socialite and philanthropist whose notable work involves LIFE, an acronym for one of her charitable organizations: Leaders in Furthering Education. She is the 80-year-old widow of Generoso Paul “Gene” Pope, Jr., a media mogul who is best known for creating “The National Enquirer.” The popular tabloid was built around the concept that “inquiring minds want to know.”
Pope’s philanthropic organizations have sponsored numerous charitable endeavors, from clean water projects in South America to summer camps for at-risk youths to programs that honor disabled American veterans. As a patron and supporter of the arts, Pope is also involved with the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, the Palm Beach Opera and Florida’s Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach.
Born in suburban Philadelphia in 1933, Pope attended but did not graduate from Chestnut Hill College. However, the Roman Catholic school later presented her with an honorary Doctor of Laws (L.D.) degree for her extensive philanthropic work. Pope also holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (D.H.L) degree from the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, New Jersey. She attended classes at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
Much of Pope’s philanthropic work centers on the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and the LIFE Center, a neurological research facility that originated with a $10 million dollar contribution to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The LIFE Center is the mainstay of the school’s globally recognized neuroscience research programs. It is located in the Schoninger research quadrangle at the Jackson Memorial Medical Center/University of Miami.
This world-class research facility brings the latest technological and medical advancements to various neurologic conditions such as brain trauma and stroke. The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis is one example. This initiative was founded by Nick Buoniconti, a former football player for the Miami Dolphins. It conducts the most comprehensive spinal cord injury research in the world.
According to the University of Miami, the LIFE Center honors the generosity and benevolence of Lois Berrodin Pope. The name reflects her work with Leaders in Furthering Education, which aims to encourage young people in their leadership skills and volunteerism. It also represents Pope’s personal interest in the treatment and cure of various neurologic disorders.
The goal of the LIFE center is to serve as a place where those with neurologic and spinal cord injuries, as well as their families and friends, can “anchor their hopes.” Thanks to the generosity of people like Pope and Buoniconti, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine can help them “revitalize their dreams for a better future.”