About St. Jude: The Namesake
St. Jude (Saint Jude Thaddeus) was the Catholic patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes. As a struggling entertainer, founder Danny Thomas, prayed to St. Jude, asking for success in his dreams to become a performer. He promised if that were ever to happen, that he would build a shrine in honor of the saint. In a Detroit church, a young Thomas made this vow and never forgot it. Years later, after finding enormous success in acting, he opened the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital--"a leading pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children's catastrophic diseases."
Founding the Hospital
Danny Thomas founded St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in 1962, in Memphis, Tennessee, on the basis that "no child should die in the dawn of life." He decided that the hospital should not charge any eligible patients, but rather raise money through fundraising and donations to the hospital.