Lilly, Josiah Kirby

Lilly, Josiah Kirby

(1861–1948) pharmaceutical manufacturer; born in Greencastle, Ind. (son of Eli Lilly). He graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (1882) and entered his father's firm, Eli Lilly and Company. He was director of the laboratories (1882–98), president of the company (1898–1932), and chairman of the board (1932–48). The company played a major role in the advances of chemotherapy in the early 20th century; during World War I the firm grew belladonna and stramonium plants used to make much-needed medicines. He collaborated with Frederick Banting to market the first commercially produced insulin in the U.S.A. (1923). He and his sons set up the Lilly Endowment, Inc. (1937) to channel funds to charitable, educational, and religious causes.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.