DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — It’s been well documented that T. Boone Pickens ​was a very generous man, something that the President of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky said he witnessed personally.

“His [life] was a life so well lived, and ​he’s a legacy that will really endure in ​perpetuity here at UT Southwestern,” Dr. Podolsky said.

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He recalled running into Pickens just few months ​ago. ​

At 91 years old, he was visiting laboratories at the ​biomedical building named after him as a thank you​. In 2007, Pickens and the T. Boone Pickens Foundation donated $50 million to the Southwestern Medical Foundation.

“This magnificent gift of $50 ​million has now become a $500 million endowment,” Dr. Podolsky said. ​”He was one of the great benefactors of UT Southwestern, but in his generosity he did it in a way that has challenged us, so that it would have the maximum impact. He saw what the impact of research could be.”

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he also witnessed his friend’s generous spirit.

“He was giving it away with his ​right hand faster than he could make it,” ​Jones said. “Boone was a personal friend ​of mine and confidant of mine, and he ​was inspirational.”​

Dr. Podolsky said Pickens wanted medical care for ​people broadly due to his experience of medical illness ​early in life.

“I’ve heard Boone talk about the ​impact of his experience of a medical illness ​early in his life and out of that experience ​where he was hospitalized for a significant ​
period he made the determination that when he ​was in a position, he would want to do everything​ he could to see that there was medical care for ​people broadly,” ​Dr. Podolsky said. ​

And he assured that work is happening at UT Southwestern.

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“That includes advances in cancer ​research, cardiovascular research, regenerative medicine,” ​Dr. Podolsky said. ​”In the long term, the discoveries that ​could be made in those research laboratories​ is a way to touch lives around the world.” ​

Erin Jones