It is with profound sadness that the CEO Roundtable on Cancer announces the death of its founding chairman, Robert A. Ingram.
Ingram died March 24, according to his obituary. He was 80 years old.
In 2001, President George H.W. Bush asked Ingram, then chief executive officer of GlaxoWellcome, to organize a group of corporate leaders and take action to improve cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. This group became the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, and Ingram served as its first chairman. His business acumen was essential to establishing the early direction of the organization, yet he never lost sight of its ultimate purpose, always asking himself and his colleagues, “does it help the patient?”
After stepping down as chair of CEORT, Ingram continued to serve on the Board of Directors until his death. During that time, he was the inspirational force that motivated CEORT staff, membership, and collaborators to deliver solutions that have improved outcomes for cancer patients around the world.
“I was fortunate to work with Bob for 25 years,” said William Louv, PhD, CEO of CEORT. “His optimism and energy lifted all of us who have been fortunate to be in his orbit. It will never be the same, but we will carry on as he would want us to.”
In 2022, Ingram received the Dr. Charles A. Sanders Award from CEORT for collaborative scientific research in cancer.
“I’m so proud of what the Roundtable has become but I’m equally proud of where it’s going,” Ingram said at the awards ceremony. “As leaders, one of our most important roles is to support the lives of our employees and their families by the policies and benefits we put in place. I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunity through the Roundtable to help accelerate better health outcomes for so many people.”
In 2006, Ingram was appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Advisory Board. He accepted his third Presidential appointment in 2019, when he was appointed by President Donald J. Trump to serve on the Presidential Cancer Panel. In 2014, Ingram received the North Carolina Award for public service, the highest civilian honor the state can bestow on an individual.
As CEO of GlaxoWellcome, Ingram helped lead the merger with SmithKline Beecham that formed GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). He served as vice chairman of pharmaceuticals at GSK before becoming strategic advisor to the CEO. He was also chairman of the boards at BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Black Diamond Therapeutics, Novan and Cree. He most recently served as a general partner at Hatteras Venture Partners in Durham.
In 2013, Ingram received the NACD B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Corporate Directors. In 2014, he received the Triangle Business Journal’s Life Sciences Lifetime Achievement award. Ingram served on numerous civic and professional organizations, including the boards for the James B. Hunt Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, and the Advisory Council of the Congressional Task Force on Biomedical Research and Innovation.
Ingram grew up in Charleston, Illinois, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Illinois University. His family plans to hold a private memorial ceremony.