Letter from Board Chair Dorothy Lemelson
Countless evenings during our 43 years of marriage were spent at the dinner table discussing invention. It was Jerry’s great passion. He invented not just during working hours, but at night, when we were vacationing, and even when he slept. Many friends who attended social gatherings at our home found themselves discussing the inventive process with Jerry, sometimes for the entire evening.
Within the family, our conversations often turned to one theme – how to ignite the spark of invention in young people and help Americans understand the central role that invention and innovation play in creating the prosperous society in which we are all so privileged to live.
Jerry spoke with great passion of his desire to initiate a foundation to foster these ideas if and when he was fortunate enough to have the means to do so. It took many years for this dream to become a reality, and yet there was never a moment when Jerry didn’t have the conviction that it would happen. When that time came, he put in place the initial programs of The Lemelson Foundation, which have proven to be so vital and inspiring in this country.
Later my family was driven by Jerry’s dream, and by our own life experiences and beliefs, to apply Jerry’s original vision to improve the lives of the three billion people in our global community who earn less than two dollars a day, and whose entrepreneurial and inventive potential has often remained unrealized. Jerry would find our developing country programs a thrilling extension of his original vision, one that is consistent with his belief in justice and in the power of invention to change lives.
President and Chair of the Board