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Leslie L. Dan

DAN, LESLIE L. (1929– ), Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist. Dan was born in Budapest, Hungary. He survived the Holocaust as a teenager with the aid of false identity papers. Still a teenager when he arrived in Canada in 1947, Dan worked as a lumberjack and waiter to put himself though the University of Toronto, where he earned a B.Sc. in pharmacy in 1954 and an M.B.A. in 1959. He began an over-the-counter drug distribution company in 1960 and in 1965 created Novopharm. When he sold it to Israel's Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2000, the company was a world leader in pharmaceutical research and manufacture. While Dan remained on the Board of Teva he went on to develop and become chair of Viventia, which specializes in the discovery and development of products for the treatment of cancer.

A widely respected businessman, Dan also turned his expertise and personal fortune to battling disease worldwide. In 1985 he founded the Canadian Medicine Aid Programme (CAN-MAP) which provides millions of dollars of medicines and other aid to the sick in the developing world. He was a donor to Yad Vashem, and his generous support of the University of Toronto is evident in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and the Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building, which was completed in 2005. Toronto's Aish HaTorah's Dan Family Building is named in his honor, and he received honorary doctorates from several universities. He was also active on the boards of several Toronto hospitals and supported a wide range of health-oriented initiatives at Canadian universities. In 1996 Dan was awarded the Order of Ontario and made a Member of the Order of Canada.