Yale Law School Mourns the Loss of Howard Solomon ’52


The Yale Law School community is mourning the loss of Howard Solomon ’52, a leader in the pharmaceutical industry and dedicated philanthropist whose generous gift established the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy in 2014. 

Solomon, who died on January 8, 2022, at the age of 94, brought himself up from child poverty and established a successful career that began by working for several law firms in New York City. One of his clients was Forest Laboratories, a pharmaceutical manufacturer and marketer. Ultimately, he became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company in 1977, and he was elected Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in December 1998. When Solomon became CEO of Forest, its pharmaceutical business in the United States consisted of a small and unprofitable business. He led the transformation of Forest into an innovative and fully integrated multibillion dollar pharmaceutical company. In addition to building value for shareholders, Solomon was instrumental in building an industry-leading portfolio of groundbreaking therapies and next generation pharmaceutical products, including blockbuster products such as Celexa, Lexapro, Benicar, and Namenda.

Howard Solomon in 195
Howard Solomon ’52 pictured during his time at Yale Law School in 1951.

Solomon’s philanthropic commitment made it possible for the Law School to launch an innovative center that has quickly become a leader in the health law and policy arena. The Solomon Center was the first of its kind to bring together leading academics, experts, and practitioners from the public and private sectors to address questions at the intersection of the law and the governance, practice, and business of health care. Solomon’s generosity has allowed the Center to train the next generation of health lawyers, industry leaders, policymakers, and academics, with dozens of YLS graduates who have been associated with the Center already practicing and teaching in the field. The Center produces cutting-edge scholarship on topics including the COVID-19 crisis, the opioid epidemic, gun violence, the Affordable Care Act, and the fight against cancer. It has also built the largest law school network of Medical-Legal Partnerships that puts students on the ground to delivery civil legal services to vulnerable populations in collaboration with medical partners, including Yale New Haven Hospital.

“The Solomon Center is a living testament to Howard’s vision, generosity, dedication to healthcare and love for Yale,” said Abbe R. Gluck ’00, the Alfred M. Rankin Professor of Law and Founding Faculty Director of the Center. “His intellect and energy were matched by his enormous heart, and thanks to him we are on our way to a decade’s worth of leadership when it comes studying, innovating, mentoring, and advocating in health law and policy.”

Solomon retired as CEO and President of Forest in September 2013 and served as Chairman of the Board until the company was acquired 2014. Following retirement, Solomon formed Hildred Capital Partners, a family investment firm that invests in a broad range of securities, with a focus on growth-stage private healthcare companies.

“Howard Solomon led a remarkable life, and we mourn his loss in New Haven. We are intensely grateful to Howard, his son David Solomon, and to the rest of his family for their generosity in supporting critical work on health law issues at the Law School,” said Dean Heather K. Gerken. “The Solomon Center will enable generations of YLS students to tackle some of the most important questions of our time and make a difference in the lives of so many.”

Solomon was an avid lover of the performing arts and was very active in supporting the field both through his generous philanthropy and also through his service as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Opera and Chairman of the Finance Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the New York City Ballet, a trustee of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and a past member of the Board of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. Solomon attended City College of New York where he graduated cum laude. He also holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

The Solomon family has strong ties to Yale: son David Solomon graduated from Yale College in 1988 and Yale Law School in 1992; son Andrew Solomon earned a B.A. from Yale in 1985 and is a Lecturer in Psychology at Yale; grandchildren Calvin Solomon, Emmet Solomon and Abigail Solomon are members of the Yale College classes of 2021, 2024 and 2026, respectively; and David’s wife, Sarah Long, holds a B.A. ’85 from Yale College and an M.F.A. ’92 from Yale School of Drama. Sarah’s mother, Judy Long, was Director of Student Affairs for the Yale School of Music, and her father, Charles Long, was Deputy Provost of the University.

“We will forever be grateful to Howard and we so feel lucky to have been part of his very large orbit,” Gluck said. “We look forward to continued work with David, Andrew, and the entire family as we carry on the Solomon Center’s important mission and intellectual commitments for years to come.”