William Joseph Leedom and Bennett, Bigelow & Leedom Endowed Professorship
The William Joseph Leedom and Bennett, Bigelow & Leedom Endowed Professorship was created by the owners of Bennett, Bigelow & Leedom to honor the memory of William J. Leedom.
William J. Leedom died in 1993 of lung cancer caused by tobacco products. His gallant battle with cancer inspired all those who knew him. After his death, Bennett Bigelow & Leedom (“BB & L”), the firm with which his son William J. Leedom and daughter-in-law Elizabeth A. Leedom practice law, was appointed to assist the Washington State Attorney General in a lawsuit by the State of Washington against the tobacco industry (“Tobacco Litigation”). That lawsuit, together with suits by other states, ultimately resulted in the largest litigation settlement in the history of the United States.
In 2004, the owners of BB & L and their families decided to help establish and fund an endowed professorship to honor William Joseph Leedom and to contribute to efforts to combat tobacco-related diseases. The purpose of this endowment is to provide funds for an endowed professorship in stroke research — specifically for smoking-related cerebral vascular disease — within the Department of Neurological Surgery in the School of Medicine based at Harborview Medical Center. The research should have clinical applications.
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