Murray Koffler

Murray Koffler

Murray Bernard Koffler, OC OOnt (born January 22, 1924) is a Canadian pharmacist, businessman, and philanthropist. He is best known for creating the Canadian pharmacy retailer, Shoppers Drug Mart.

Born in Toronto, Ontario to Romanian-born immigrant parents, Koffler received a Phm. B. degree in 1946 from the University of Toronto. He is married to Marvelle.

In 1946, he became a pharmacist at Koffler Drug Stores (established in 1921). From 1968 to 1971, he was President of Koffler Stores Ltd. From 1971 to 1986, he was Chairman of Shoppers Drug Mart. He was appointed an Honorary Chairman in 1986.

In addition to his business pursuits, Koffler is known as a community leader and philanthropist. He has received the B’nai Brith Distinguished Citizen’s Award; the Canada Council of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award,; and, with his wife, Dr. Marvelle Koffler, the Israel Cancer Research Fund Humanitarian Award. He has served on the board of governors of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, as well as on the boards of Mount Sinai Hospital, the United Jewish Welfare Fund, and the Jerusalem Foundation, and is a past chairman of the United Jewish Appeal. In 1979 Murray Koffler was the Toronto Negev Dinner honoree.

He and Marvelle established the Koffler Centre of the Arts at the Bathurst Jewish Community Centre in 1974. The Koffler is home to the Koffler Gallery which presents cutting edge contemporary art exhibitions; the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards; the Toronto Jewish Book Fair, and extensive educational programs in music, dance, and visual arts. A new Koffler Centre of the Arts is under construction at the same site as part of the new Sherman Campus of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and is to be completed in 2011 with greatly expanded galleries, performance spaces, and classrooms. He is credited as one of the founding visionaries behind the major Jewish cultural, recreational, and social service campus project.

Both Murray and Marvelle Koffler are major supporters of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Both sit on the Institute’s board of governors, and Murray Koffler is chair of the international board of directors. He is also chairman emeritus of the Canadian Society for the Weizman Institute. Another of his contributions to the Weizmann Institute is his funding of the Koffler Accelerator—a sophisticated twin-tower instrument for nuclear research. Murray Koffler was named to the Order of Canada in 1977 and in 1996 was promoted to an Officer. He was also named to the Order of Ontario in 1992 and received an honorary doctorate from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1976.

His son moved to Israel where he created the very successful Super Pharm pharmacy stores.

Read more about Murray Koffler:  Honours

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