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In Memoriam: Berle Adams, 92

In Memoriam: Berle Adams, 92
Berle Adams in 2002

Berle Adams, a longtime supporter of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, died on Aug. 25 after a long illness. He was 92.

A past president of Cancer Research Associates, an early support organization for the Cancer Center, Adams was a advocate of cancer research at USC for more than 25 years.

“Berle Adams was a wonderful man whose support was critical to the early development of the Norris Cancer Center,” said Brian Henderson, distinguished professor of preventive medicine and former dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Through his work with Cancer Research Associates, he helped raise money to build new programs and buildings and advance research.”

Adams, along with the Lucy and Berle Adams Foundation, funded the Lucy and Berle Adams Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at the Keck School in 2002. Lucy Adams, a patient at USC Norris Cancer Hospital, died of melanoma in 1990.

“Berle Adams was an extraordinary man who was involved in supporting the Cancer Center from its early days,” said Peter Jones, director of the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. “He established the Lucy and Berle Adams Endowed Family Chair to support melanoma research and took a keen interest in our progress. We shall miss such a staunch supporter very much.”

During a career that spanned more than 60 years, Adams was a force in the music and television industries.

In the 1940s, he co-founded Mercury Records, helping to launch the careers of singers Frankie Laine and Vic Damone. He moved on to MCA, where he represented stars including Jack Benny, Rosemary Clooney and Alfred Hitchcock.

In later years, Adams specialized in the distribution of television programming, and was the sole international distributor of the Emmy Awards for more than 20 years.

When the Lucy and Berle Adams Endowed Chair was announced in 2002, Adams said that he hoped his gift would help changes people’s lives.

“I’m glad to make the gift in memory of my wife and I hope it is able to help people,” he said at the time. “We want to stop cancer.”

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