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Ken Langone: An “Enlightened Leader”

by Anne F. Kearns


Ken Langone is one of my favorite authors and leaders—a remarkable person who not only writes but takes action upon his words to make a massive difference in the world. That is thrilling to me and it's caused me to refer to him as an “Enlightened Leader.”


Ken Langone invited me and my then-husband to join him for lunch. It was a thrilling opportunity to hear him say what he was planning to do for college students, their parents, and NYU. He discovered by looking out in the world that there were not enough general practitioner physicians being trained to fulfill the needs of the future and that there would be a significant shortage. The cost of medical school has become astronomical, and the salary for a general practitioner couldn’t cover the costs. As a result, med students were turning away from becoming general practitioners and opting to become specialists so they could get paid more and afford tuition. Ken immediately jumped to help solve this problem.


So, with this insight, what he shared with us was mind-boggling. He created an ongoing foundation—a forever foundation—providing free tuition for medical students at NYU pursuing a medical degree to become a general practitioner. The money is given to the students, and each year the foundation is replenished, so this generous offering can be made in perpetuity. The parents of these students were extremely grateful and understanding of the life-changing nature of this gift. 


Ken is a person who steps up, identifies a problem, and fixes it.


Other leaders I admire are people who can step forward with a team of people and excite the team to move forward with changes that are beneficial to everyone. And that's what you're looking for—the one who has good ideas and then gives them away to people who need them and for the benefit of the world.


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