The Rip Van Winkle Foundation was founded by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, MD, a surgeon who devoted much of his career to seeking methods for improving the delivery of quality health care to the American people. He became Lou's personal physician following the diagnosis of ALS by the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Esselstyn and his family remained close friends with Lou's widow, Eleanor, who bequeathed a portion of her estate to the Foundation upon her death in 1984. As a tribute to Lou, the Foundation launched The Lou Gehrig Society in 2011.
The Rip Van Winkle Foundation, d/b/a/ The Lou Gehrig Society, owns the property rights to the image, name, and voice of Lou Gehrig, and all trademarks protecting his words and signature. Any use of the above without written consent of the Foundation is strictly prohibited.