In 1948 EDMUND F. BALL took the reins of the Ball Corporation, a glass container company founded by his father and uncles. Under his leadership, it went on to become one of the world’s leading suppliers of metal, glass, and plastic packaging for home and commercial use. In addition, in 1949 Mr. Ball founded the Minnetrista Corporation, a wholesaler of aircraft and earth anchors.
The Ball family’s association with the Wilmer Eye Institute goes back to the institute’s beginnings, when Mr. Ball’s mother was a patient of William Holland Wilmer, the first director.
Edmund Ball and his wife, VIRGINIA B. BALL, served as active members of the Wilmer Advisory Board, giving generous support to both the Wilmer Building Fund and the Arnall Patz Distinguished Professorship. Together with Hopkins ophthalmologist A. Edward Maumenee, Mr. Ball worked to found the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, one of the first philanthropic organizations to focus on vision.
Shortly before he died in 2000, Mr. Ball made the commitment to endow this professorship. Mrs. Ball carried out that commitment to support research into macular degeneration and other retinal disorders. She died in 2003.