Columbia University Medical Center Benefactor Herbert Irving, 1917-2016

Columbia News
October 05, 2016

Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital jointly celebrate the life and mourn the passing of Herbert Irving, whose generosity and friendship truly transformed our shared medical center. With his wife Florence, Herbert Irving played an essential role in advancing one of the leading academic medical centers in the nation and world. He died on Oct. 2 at the age of 98.

Last month, Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital commemorated the extraordinary commitment of the Irvings by renaming the shared Medical Center campus in Washington Heights in their honor. It is now the Columbia University Herbert and Florence Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Many of the Medical Center’s state-of-the-art facilities and clinical programs owe a debt to the Irvings, including:

  • Herbert Irving Pavilion
  • Irving Cancer Research Center
  • Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
  • Irving Radiation Oncology Center
  • Irving Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
  • Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Their gifts also made possible a long list of named professorships, faculty chairs, and other clinical and research facilities.

Irving called his support of CUMC and NYP one of the proudest things he and Florence have done over the years: “This is a relationship that has endured for many years and been very important to us. We are honored to be associated in this way with these great institutions and the special people who make them what they are.”

Herbert Irving was born and raised in Brooklyn and was a co-founder and former vice chairman of Sysco Corporation, the nation’s largest food distributor.