Saddened by the loss of Marion Sandler

Marion Sandler, mother-in-law of PAC Founder and Chairman Steve Phillips, passed away June 1st.  This post captures her spirit and legacy.

Originally posted on PLoS Blogs by Peter Jerram

Like so many organizations, PLoS owes its existence and success in large part to the generosity and foresight of Marion Sandler, who together with her husband Herb at the Sandler Foundation, invested in PLoS during our earliest years. She died on Friday, June 1st 2012 at the age of 81, and was still engaged in our progress right up until the end of her life.

I was recommended by the Sandler’s for the role of PLoS CEO and knew Marion personally, having worked for her over about seven years in a previous role. Like many executives, she was tough and tenacious. But even during our more challenging interactions, you sensed her penetrating intelligence, her drive to improve your work, to make you a better manager. “I don’t ‘do’ compromise,” she warned me once, fixing me with an intense look. I was there for more than one meeting in which a hapless presenter underestimated the tiny figure, seemingly distracted–often knitting. Suddenly, Marion would look up from her clattering needles and fire a series of questions that revealed not only that she had been listening all along, but often that she grasped the subject better than did the presenter. Those were the best kind of meetings: amusing and instructive!

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