In loving memory of Lawrence Lacks Sr, affectionately known as “Pop-Pop,” and “Papa Lawrence”.
Lawrence peacefully transitioned on Saturday, August 26, 2023, surrounded by his family.
Lawrence, Henrietta Lacks' last living child, an influential advocate, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, partner, and friend was only 16 years old when his mother, Henrietta, suffered a rapid and painful death from metastatic cervical cancer in the "colored ward" of Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1951.
Lawrence spent the last sixty-three years of his life fighting endlessly for the rightful recognition, justice, and ownership of his mother’s cell line HeLa cell line, but most importantly, for his family name.
Lawrence and his late wife Bobbette were dedicated to their family and their community. Lawrence and Bobbette opened businesses around their beloved community in Baltimore, Maryland, including an insurance agency, a confectionary store, and Lacks Meats Palace. Lawrence championed the passing of The Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act and was pivotal in the efforts to posthumously award Henrietta Lacks with the Congressional Gold Medal. Lawrence's efforts were recognized globally; in 2021, he accepted the World Health Organization Director-General's award posthumously to Henrietta Lacks, and in 2022, Lawrence was named a WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Cervical Cancer Elimination.
Lawrence advanced his family's #HELA100 : The Henrietta Lacks Initiative as an advisor, advocate, speaker, and historian whom traveled the world to share his invaluable insights with global leaders, students, researchers, and community leaders.
We honor his legacy.
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