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When Judy Wilkenfeld died on 24 May 2007 after a protracted battle with pancreatic cancer, the world lost more than one of its most important tobacco control leaders. Judy’s contributions to tobacco control were extraordinary, but what made Judy Wilkenfeld unique were the ways she brought people together, made everyone with whom she came into contact better, and became a close and trusted friend, confidante, mentor, and role model to so many people with whom she worked—young and old, from different continents, cultures, ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, and world views.
Judy contributed to the effort to reduce the death toll from tobacco use for more than 20 years. However, until she left federal service in 1999 few people outside of her close friends were aware of her contributions. The fact that for nearly two decades Judy’s name rarely appeared next to her important contributions is a testament to her commitment to doing what is right.
Judy Wilkenfeld joined the Federal Trade Commission in 1980, where she served for 14 years as Program Advisor for Tobacco (the person in charge of all tobacco related matters for the FTC) and assistant director for advertising practices in the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Judy was the FTC’s lead attorney in FTC vs Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp in 1985, …