Our History

The History of Weiss Memorial Hospital

Weiss Memorial Hospital is named after Louis A. Weiss, a successful Chicago businessman who wanted to give back to the neighborhoods in which he flourished.

Born in 1897 and later described as a “quiet giver,” Weiss was more concerned with the tangible benefits of helping people than with attaining personal recognition. His philanthropic focus centered on the neighborhood where he grew up and marked his business successes. When he died in 1949, Weiss left a will that set aside, through the L.A. Weiss Foundation, a generous sum for charity with the specification that the funds benefit Chicago’s North Side.

In 1950, noted political and civic leader Col. Jacob M. Arvey was instrumental in bringing together members of the Weiss family with members of the Strauss Surgical Group, widely known for innovative surgical techniques, particularly in the field of cancer. Three Strauss brothers, doctors Alfred, Herman, and Siegfried, co-founded the hospital with the Weiss family. The hospital was intended as a fitting and lasting memorial to the man whose generosity provided the initial seeding gift.

historical groundbreaking