5/31/2010 12:25:00 PM
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Every teacher should know who Michael Milken is. The financier and philanthropist has supported educators since 1985 through the Milken Educator award, the largest teacher-recognition program in the United States. The organization has awarded $60 million to more than 2,400 K–12 teachers and principals, each of whom received $25,000 and an opportunity to participate in an annual professional-development conference. Mike and Lowell Milken co-founded the Milken Family Foundation in 1982 (Lowell Milken created the Milken Educator Awards and chairs the foundation), but Michael has been generous since at least 1972, when his mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. In addition to medical research and education, the foundation addresses inner-city problems and seeks to aid families of children with cancer and youth programs.