James LeVoy Sorenson (1921 – 2008) | Beverley Taylor Sorenson (1924 – 2013)
The Sorenson Legacy Foundation was created to improve the lives of others and the world in which we live. Founded by the late biotechnology pioneer and entrepreneur James LeVoy Sorenson and his wife, education philanthropist Beverley Taylor Sorenson, the foundation provides support for a wide range of endeavors, from community development and health care to scientific and artistic pursuits.
James LeVoy Sorenson was born in 1921 in Rexburg, Idaho. He attended Sierra College in Rocklin, California but never finished his pre-med education due to World War II and serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
James met Beverley in New York City in 1945. They were married the following summer on July 23, 1946, and eventually settled in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Although he never graduated college, James started a career in Real Estate where he was able to earn enough money to expand into other fields for which he had a passion. Through the work of several companies, he holds 60 patents many of which are medical inventions including the disposable surgical mask and the disposable venous catheter.
In 2003 Sierra College awarded James with an honorary degree and in 2006 received the “Giant of Our City” award in Salt Lake City for his philanthropy and effort in identifying the tsunami victims.
James passed away on January 20, 2008, from cancer. He donated his entire fortune to this foundation to help others pursue the same projects and passions of healthcare and innovation.
Beverley Taylor Sorenson was born the fifth of six children in Salt Lake City in 1924. Growing up she enjoyed dancing and playing the piano.
In 1945, Beverley graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in education. She promptly moved to New York to take up the position as a kindergarten teacher for a Quaker school. She met James that same year and was married in 1946.
She raised eight children but never lost her passion for education and the arts. During her life, she promoted several causes and legislation to integrate arts into elementary education. The state of Utah honored her efforts by naming the program the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program.
In 2005, she co-founded this foundation and has given to many of those same causes in which she believed. Beverley set up endowments for elementary art studies at seven universities across Utah. Many of these universities have dedicated buildings properties including The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts at Southern Utah University (SUU) and the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex at the University of Utah.
Beverley passed away in 2013 and is survived by her eight children, 49 grandchildren, and 65 great-grandchildren.