REDWOOD CITY – Former Stanford University president Donald Kennedy died of COVID-19 at a residential care facility in Redwood City on Tuesday, the university announced. He was 88.
Kennedy, a neurobiologist and former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, became the university’s eighth president in 1980. He is credited with setting the stage for Stanford’s evolution into one of the nation’s top research universities during his 12 years in office.
“As we mourn the loss of Don Kennedy, we also salute his enormous contributions to Stanford and to our country,” said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne in a news release.
“As a biologist, as a national voice for science, as a vigorous leader of Stanford University and as an engaging teacher beloved by so many students,” Tessier-Lavigne continued, “Don brought to his endeavors an enduring commitment to academic excellence, a deep wellspring of warmth and good humor and a vision for the possibilities always ahead of Stanford.”
Kennedy, who suffered a serious stroke in 2015, had lived at Gordon Manor, the Redwood City residential care facility, for the past two years, according to the university. He is among the 220 people who have died of the novel coronavirus in the Bay Area.