Neil Alexander: celebrating a courageous life
For the past several years, Neil and Suzanne Alexander, along with their children, Abby and Patrick, have been among the brightest lights in The Pittsburgh Foundation’s constellation of donors. While we at the Foundation are saddened at the announcement of Neil’s death on March 24, 2015 at age 49 from complications connected to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, we celebrate his incredible accomplishment as an authentic community philanthropist in the creation of the highly renowned LiveLikeLou Fund here.
Neil’s exceptional courage, always part of his life, kicked in when he was diagnosed with ALS. He chose to live life deliberately, intentionally, in as focused and as effective a way as possible. He called it “living like Lou” for baseball great Lou Gehrig, who handled his own ALS diagnosis with celebrated dignity. That was evident just a few weeks ago in the Alexander family’s public announcement of the Live Like Lou Center for ALS Research at the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute.
We at the Foundation are all so sad that such a rich and giving life has ended, but we are also feeling so fortunate to be able to play a role in the legacy that will continue. Neil, in addition to having become a close associate in our philanthropic work, was a friend to many and enjoyed the vast admiration of all of us. Neil was a person of action, of bold, creative thinking, and a person of extraordinary courage. In memory of these qualities and so much more, we intend to work hard be helpful in many ways in the continuation of the Alexander family’s mission.
There are some people in life that make things happen, who improve things, which change the world. That’s Neil and his family.
President and CEO
The Pittsburgh Foundation
The Pittsburgh Foundation invites you to learn more about Neil’s journey in the stories below.
Obituary: Neil Alexander / Advocate of ALS research always kept next generation in mind - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
O'Hara ALS awareness advocate dies at 49 - Pittsburgh Tribune Review