James B. Russo, 88, died February 26, 2023, at his home in Durham, NC. He was the husband of Deborah Lee Pickett, V.M.D.
Jim was born in Philadelphia, PA, to Sarah (Romain) and Harry Russo.
A graduate of Temple University School of Journalism, Jim was a public information officer in the Office of Naval Research and the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations from 1956 to 1960.
Over the next 35 years, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry, first for the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association in Washington, DC, and then for GlaxoSmithKline in Philadelphia, where he was director of public policy.
Jim’s deep interest in advancing the cause of corporate responsiveness to the public interest led him to help found the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD), an alliance of the major medical product manufacturers and the leading international healthcare charities. During his tenure as founding executive director from 1995 to 2005, PQMD’s donations grew to over $3 billion.
Jim will be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather; an extraordinarily effective advocate for those whose access to health care was limited; and a man who loved words, politics and his Porsches.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by three daughters and their families: Sarah Romain (Russo) and Eric Singer, Norfolk, VA; their son, Andrew Singer, and his fiancee, Sarah Botvinnik, Richmond, VA; Julie Ann Russo and Don Dingledine, Oshkosh, WI; and Marija (Russo) and David Maris, and their daughters, Noelle and Isabella, Collegeville, PA.
He was predeceased by his son, James Bennett Russo; his sister, Henrietta Russo; and his first wife, Dolores M. Povilaitis.
Contributions in Jim’s memory may be made to PQMD, one of its member charities or your favorite social justice organization.