September 29, 2016
Charles R. Walgreen III earned his BS in pharmacy in 1958

Charles R. Walgreen III led the drugstore chain that bears his family's name through a period of significant change, shedding many ancillary businesses and focusing on store growth and a top-of-the-line pharmacy operation. Walgreen, 80, died Monday at his home in Lake Forest, according to the company.

An innovator in introducing technology to operations, Walgreen — known to many by his nickname, "Cork" — also transformed the Walgreens retail base, shifting stores from strip malls to freestanding stores.

Walgreen joined the family business in 1952 as a stock boy before receiving a degree in pharmacy from the University of Michigan in 1958. After college, Walgreen returned to Walgreens as a store pharmacist and several years later became the administrative assistant to the company's vice president of operations. He was honored by his alma mater as the 1987 U-M College of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumni.

In 2004, Walgreen donated $2 million to the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy to endow a professorship devoted to researching the socioeconomics of health care policies. He also served the College as a longtime member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee.

Read Cork Walgreen’s full obituary at the Chicago Tribune.