A Champion for Ochsner and Our Community
Tom Benson’s philanthropic legacy will always remain as big as his lifelong vision for the city of New Orleans. In 2018 we said goodbye to a man who left an enormous impact across his native city and the entire region, a servant leader who was also an extraordinarily committed supporter of Ochsner’s mission. Mr. Benson’s passion for giving back to his hometown was legendary. His commitment to “take care of people,” as he often said, benefited not only Ochsner and thousands of our patients, but countless charitable causes throughout our community.
A highly respected and self-made business leader, Mr. Benson was a man who embraced daunting challenges and found ways to overcome them. His fearless commitment to the city helped propel New Orleans forward following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. And he holds a unique place in Louisiana sports history. During his time as the owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, he helped both teams experience unprecedented success, including winning Super Bowl XLIV in 2010.
Among their many philanthropic endeavors, Tom Benson and his devoted wife, Gayle, were deeply committed to strengthening Ochsner’s ability to change and save lives. They provided a generous gift to establish Ochsner’s Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center and, in 2015, took their philanthropic vision to the next level with an historic and transformative gift to expand the destination for cancer care. Today, their generosity is allowing us to significantly grow cancer services along with advanced clinical research that provides options – and hope – not available anywhere else in the Gulf South.