Richard D. Wood


IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award (1990)
Honorary Degree (1989)
Doctor of Laws
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Thomas Ehrlich


Richard Donald Wood, chairman of the Board of Directors and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Company, is recognized internationally for his leadership of one of the world's most distinguished pharmaceutical companies. His perception of the role in society of a major pharmaceutical company extends the vision that has made the company great.

Mr. Wood was born at Brazil, Indiana. He received the B.S. from Purdue University in 1948, and the M.B.A from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce of the University of Pennsylvania in 1950. He began his career with Eli Lilly and Company in the finance and marketing departments and became manager of market research for Eli Lilly International Corporation in 1959. He returned to the parent company in 1964 and served in positions of rapidly increasing responsibility in market research, market development, and sales, before becoming executive director of industrial relations in 1969 and vice president of that area in 1970. Later that same year he assumed the presidency of Lilly International. In 1971 Mr. Wood was elected an executive vice president of Eli Lilly and Company. He became president in 1972. He has served as chairman of the Board of Directors and chief executive officer of the corporation since 1973.

Mr. Wood serves also as a member of the board of directors of Lilly Endowment, Inc.; Amoco Corporation; Chemical New York Corporation; and Dow Jones & Company, Inc. He is a trustee of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, the Committee for Economic Development, DePauw University, the Purdue Foundation, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Highly respected for his knowledge of international trade and business, he serves also as a director of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Trade and Economic Council and a member of the Business Roundtable, the Council on Foreign Relations, and The President's Export Council. He has received honorary degrees from five institutions and is an honorary member of the Indiana University chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the national business administration honorary society. Richard Wood's leadership of Eli Lilly and Company for sixteen years reflects his personal vision for the role of the corporation in contributing to the well-being of society.

Under his direction, Eli Lilly and Company has made outstanding scientific, economic, and philanthropic contributions to the state of Indiana and the nation. In his service on numerous Indianapolis and state organizations, and in his personal commitment to higher education, he has worked effectively for the advancement of Indiana's citizens and has significantly enhanced Eli Lilly and Company's extraordinary record of corporate philanthropy. His career reflects the highest standards of the socially concerned executive who leads a great company to great accomplishments