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In Memory of
Charles Randolph Walgreen
November 11, 1935 - September 26, 2016

Charles Rudolph Cork Walgreen III
Date of Birth Monday, November 11th, 1935
Date of Death Monday, September 26th, 2016
Arrangements by
Wenban Funeral Home

320 Vine Avenue
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Phone: (847) 234-0022
Fax: (847) 234-7959

Walgreen III, Charles R. (Cork) Lake Forest, IL: Charles R. (Cork) Walgreen III, former president, chief executive officer, chairman of the board, and chairman emeritus of the iconic U.S.-based drugstore chain Walgreen Co., died September 26, 2016 at his home in Lake Forest, Illinois. He was 80 years old and the grandson of Charles R. Walgreen Sr., who founded the 115-year-old pharmacy retailer. Born in Chicago on Nov. 11, 1935, he was the son of Mary Ann Leslie and Charles R. Walgreen Jr., who himself succeeded the company's founder as president of Walgreens. Walgreen III had an early start on his remarkable 58-year Walgreens career starting in 1952 as a stock boy after school and on vacations. He later entered the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, from which he earned his bachelor's degree in pharmacy in 1958. He held numerous operations positions at the company before being named president and chief executive officer in 1971. After his father, Walgreen Jr., retired from the company's board in 1976, Walgreen III was named chairman and CEO. Walgreen III served as Walgreens chief executive officer until his retirement in January 1998. He remained chairman until August 1999, then retired from the board as chairman emeritus in 2010. In addition to his Walgreens responsibilities, Walgreen III served a number of industry, civic and professional organizations, including as a director and past chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, a director of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and Junior Achievement of Chicago, and a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association. An avid sailing enthusiast and golfer, he was a member of the Sailfish Point Club in Stuart, Fla., the Lake Winnipesaukee Golf Club in New Durham, N.H., and the Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill. In 2004, he donated $2 million to his alma mater, the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, to establish a professorship focusing on researching the socio-economics of health care policies, regulations and ethics. Walgreen III is credited with significant strategic changes that powered Walgreen Co.'s growth for decades to come. Shortly after he became president in 1969, he determined that it was time to get back to Walgreens core business: pharmacy. With that, he initiated a turnaround for the company that was deemed by many to be unprecedented. When he retired as CEO in January 1998, the company had enjoyed 23 consecutive years of record sales and earnings growth under his leadership. Walgreen III was hailed as an unrivaled industry leader who advocated the high value of his company's team members. He reflected his grandfather's hiring advice by selecting a strong management team. Unassuming but focused on business results, he shunned personal publicity, crediting instead his management team and employees with the company's successes. Walgreen III is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 40 years, Kathleen; six sons: Charles Richard (Catherine) Walgreen, Kevin (Nadia) Walgreen, Leslie Ray Walgreen, Chris Patrick (Maggie) Walgreen, Tad Alexander Walgreen and Carl (Gigi) Allen Jr.; two daughters: Brooke Julia Walgreen and Jorie Allen (Colin) Grassie; 19 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles R. Walgreen Jr. and Mary Ann Leslie Walgreen, and his son, Tad Alexander Walgreen Sr. He is also survived by his sister, Leslie Ann Walgreen Pratt; brother, James Alan Walgreen; several nieces and nephews. Memorials may be directed to: Radiation Oncology Fund at the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola University Medical Center Office of Development, 2160 South First Avenue, Maywood, Illinois 60153. Services were previously held. Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on