The Lasker Foundation Award is known in many circles as the "American Nobel," the most coveted award in medical science. Albert Lasker, the foundation's benefactor, is to modern advertising what Marconi was to radio, his client list the Who's Who of American enterprises. It is ironic, however, that American Tobacco Co. was the largest client of the man whose foundation has done so much for medicine and the battle against cancer. Although he was born in Germany on May 1, 1880, while his parents were visiting their old homeland, he grew up in Galveston, Texas, where his prominent family lived in a four-story brownstone mansion. School did not hold Lasker's interest, but journalism did. He started the Galveston Free Press, a four-page weekly, when he was only 12.