In 1876, a 37-year-old chemist made a decision that changed the course of history. He had just returned from service in the U.S. Army. His wife had recently died from malaria, and he was raising his young son on his own, with little money to their name. Despite these circumstances—maybe because of them—he took a risk. He started Eli Lilly and Company with the goal of creating trusted medicines at a time when untested elixirs peddled by questionable characters were commonplace.
He and subsequent generations of the Lilly family built a remarkable company focused on quality, discovery and caring—a company that has made life better for millions of people through our medicines to treat diabetes, infectious diseases, mental health disorders, cancer, and more.
Now, 140 years later, we at Lilly are entrusted with carrying forward this proud legacy. We humbly take up this task, striving as Colonel Lilly urged, to “Take what you find here and make it better and better.”
Learn more about our story in the “About” section on this site.