Former MD Anderson Cancer Center president dies at 82 after brain cancer battle

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dr. John Mendelsohn, the third president of MD Anderson Cancer Center, has died. He was 82.

Dr. Mendelsohn passed away at his home Monday night, just 15 months after he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

He served as MD Anderson's president from 1996 to 2011. During his tenure, he is credited with expanding patient care and research facilities, pioneering a new type of cancer therapy, helping revenue climb from $726 million to $3.1 billion and increasing philanthropy almost tenfold to $2 billion.

In honor of his contributions, the John Mendelsohn Faculty Center was dedicated on Feb. 8, 2012.

During the last five years of his presidency, MD Anderson was named the top cancer hospital in the "Best Hospitals" survey published annually by U.S. News & World Report.

Dr. Mendelsohn retired from MD Anderson on Aug. 31, 2018.

Friends and colleagues are now remembering him as a titan of the medical community and a huge supporter of many Houston nonprofit organizations, including the Houston Grand Opera and BioHouston, Inc.

Before coming to Houston in 1996, the Cincinnati native made career stops at the University of California - San Diego School of Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Dr. Mendelsohn is survived by his wife Anne and their three sons.

Arrangements for his memorial service will be announced Wednesday on the MD Anderson website.

You can also head to the hospital's website to read more about Dr. Mendelsohn's legacy.

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Dr. John Mendelsohn was MD Anderson's third president.

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