The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences' commitment to educational excellence was established the moment we broke ground 40 years ago in 1980, thanks to a generous donation from our benefactor and founder, U.S. Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg and his wife Leonore.
Walter H. Annenberg was born in 1908 and enjoyed a distinguished career as a publisher, broadcaster, diplomat, and philanthropist. He graduated from The Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey, and attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He entered the family publishing business in Philadelphia, where he became President of Triangle Publications in 1940 and, subsequently, Chairman of the Board.
Ambassador Annenberg also pioneered educational programming via television, for which he received multiple awards, including the Alfred I. DuPont Award; Marshall Field Award; and the Ralph Lowell Medal for his "outstanding contribution to public television."
Ambassador Annenberg founded The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958 and The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California in 1971. By the late 1980s, after selling all of his publishing enterprises, Ambassador Annenberg devoted his attention to philanthropy and public service. He served as Founder/Trustee of the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships and Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California; Trustee of the Winston Churchill Traveling Fellowships; and Emeritus Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the University of Pennsylvania, and The Peddie School.