To help people help themselves, to save lives, to improve the quality of life for families in need and to encourage young Americans to become leaders by helping others - those are the goals of the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education), two charitable organizations established by Lois Pope, one of America's leading philanthropists.

LIFE provides financial backing for young people who have led the way in helping the disadvantaged, but who now need help themselves to continue to do good.

The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation is the driving force behind the Lois Pope LIFE Center in Florida, the top neurological research facility in the world.

Other programs sponsored by the two organizations include a live-saving clean water project in hurricane-ravaged Guatemala, an annual $100,000 research grant, a summer camp program for disadvantaged youngsters, awards to deserving disabled veterans and a campaign to erect a national monument in Washington honoring disabled veterans.

Lois Pope, a strong supporter of medical research, is a board member of the University of Miami's Dean's Leadership Cabinet. In 1996, she donated $10 million, the largest single contribution given for neurological research to the University of Miami, for the Lois Pope LIFE Center - a state-of-the-art research facility that will be home to The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

As a supporter of the arts, Lois serves on the board of the Florida Philharmonic, the Palm Beach Opera and the Robert & Mary Montgomery Armory Arts Center. She is also on the board of Florida Atlantic University, which honored her with the President's Medallion for Distinguished Service.

Mrs. Pope is the founder of The Florida Stage in Manalapan, Florida, which has grown to become one of the country's premier regional theaters.

Lois received the 1999 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for exceptional humanitarian efforts, an honor shared with Hillary Clinton, Sen. John Glenn and Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Other accolades include the 1991 Honoree of the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, the 1997 City of Hope Woman of the Year and the 1998 Florida Women of Achievement Award. An Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree was presented to her by her alma mater, Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia.

The Palm Beach Friends of Magen David Adom named Mrs. Pope as Honorary Chairwoman following in the footsteps of Leah Rabin.

Lois Pope - Florida Women of Achievement

Mrs. Pope was also named a Daily Point of Light winner, an award inaugurated by former President George Bush to stimulate community service throughout the country.

She has also received the Health Care Heroes Award from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Timothy J. Nugent Award, the VFW James E. Van Zandt Citizenship Award and most recently, she has been appointed to the University of Miami's Board of Trustees.

Born Lois Berrodin in Philadelphia, she resides in Palm Beach County, Florida. Lois has four children and six grandchildren, and has trained for and completed five New York City Marathons.

Lois is the widow of Generoso Pope, Jr., founder of The National Enquirer.

Mr. Pope's father was the owner of a construction supply company in New York and the publisher of Il Progresso, America's leading Italian-language newspaper.

Generoso Jr., an MIT graduate, was running Il Progresso by age 21. After his father died at 59 from a heart condition, Mr. Pope worked as an intelligence officer for the CIA. And in 1952, he returned to publishing when he bought the struggling weekly The New York Enquirer.

Working tirelessly through the 1950s and 1960s, Mr. Pope increased the circulation of the renamed National Enquirer until it could boast on its front cover: "Largest circulation of any paper in America."

Single-copy sales of The Enquirer rose above 6 million for some issues during the 1970s, when Mr. Pope moved the paper and his family to Florida.

In 1988, 61-year-old Pope suffered a heart attack at his home and died on the way to the hospital - in an ambulance he had donated to the town.

According to the dictates of his will, his estate came under the trusteeship of his longtime friend, former Secretary of Treasury Pete Peterson, and his Blackstone Group, an investment firm.

About a year after Mr. Pope's death, Peterson declared that it was in the best interest of the estate to put The Enquirer and its related publications up for sale.

The company was bought at auction for $412 million.

Using her share of the proceeds from the sale, Lois established the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education), which are now among the leading charitable organizations in America.

"I believe my late husband Gene Pope is standing beside me with great pride and satisfaction seeing not only what the inheritance has accomplished, but with a grateful heart to all who give of their efforts and their money," said Lois.

"I could be sitting on a yacht nibbling on kumquats, but that's not what I want - and that's not what Gene wanted.

"All that I have worked tirelessly to give, I owe to Gene - to his faith in me, his trust in my judgment, his wisdom in knowing that I would move heaven and earth to help the hundreds of thousands of people in this country, and elsewhere, who struggle so valiantly to help themselves."

For more information call LIFE at (561) 865-0955.