Who was John Stoddard?
The Legacy of John D. Stoddard
John Stoddard was an engineer by training and a real estate developer and entrepreneur by profession who amassed a large fortune and gave most of it away. He often said that the reason he worked so hard to make money was to have more to give away.
Before John's own brief fight with cancer and death in 1998, no member of his family ever had cancer. Still, in 1990, his keen interest in medical care and compassion for others compelled him to support Iowa Methodist Medical Center's new cancer center with a $4 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the center was named the John Stoddard Cancer Center.
As the state-of-the-art center was constructed, John, an engineer, kept close watch. From the moment the first steel beams were erected to the time lush green plants were put in their place, John saw "outstanding architecture" emerge. He gained a sense of satisfaction that came from supporting a facility specifically designed to offer feelings of life, health and hope.
John was always a fervent ambassador for the center, spreading his enthusiasm for the new and emerging technology, expert cancer researchers and caregivers, and personalized family-centered care. Shortly before his illness, John said, "Once you see the center, once you see the remarkable work that's being done, that's what really motivates you to give. There's such an attitude of hope."
Through his ongoing gifts to the center, as well as significant provisions made in his estate plan, John Stoddard's spirit of hope will continue to benefit cancer patients and their families for generations to come.