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Distinguished Alumni Award

2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient


President/Owner, C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries
Pharmacy Distinguished Alumnus


The third generation of his family to work in the pharmacy business, Ian Ginsberg is the president and owner of C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, a historic 1838 New York City landmark that is renowned for its fusion of old-world style, personalized service and modern trends.

C.O. Bigelow was purchased by Mr. Ginsberg’s pharmacist grandfather in 1939, and later headed by his father, Jerry, also a pharmacist, who served on LIU Pharmacy’s Council of Overseers for two decades.

A licensed pharmacist himself, Ian Ginsberg graduated with a B.S. from LIU Pharmacy in 1985. He had musical aspirations and briefly pursued a career as a professional drummer, before joining the family business full time.

Mr. Ginsberg brought the business into the 21st Century by introducing its personal-care products to a wider audience. He scoured the globe to orchestrate a supreme collection of beauty imports, such as Marvis toothpaste from Italy and La Crème Opalis from France, and luxury products like Les Fleurs de Bach, validating the C.O. Bigelow slogan, “If you can’t find it anywhere else, try Bigelow.”

He also ventured into the company archives and came up with modern reformulations of old skin-care remedies from the 19th Century. In 2005, his company signed on with Bath & Body Works to sell its vintage-recipe balms, lotions and other products at hundreds of stores belonging to the retail chain.

Mr. Ginsberg is chairman of the board of the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors Association and a board member since 1995. He has been a guest speaker at New York University, LIU Pharmacy, HBA Global and Cosmoprof. His many philanthropic activities include Food Bank of New York, Lollipop Theatre Network and Pink Promises, a charity he founded with his wife to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. At LIU Pharmacy, he established the Jerry Ginsberg '52 Memorial Endowed Scholarship for students who demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for pharmacy.

Mr. Ginsberg and his wife, Stephanie, have three children, Alec, Wendy and Reed. They live in Jericho, L.I.

For 175 years, C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries in Manhattan has provided healing remedies, unusual beauty products and hard–to-find items to its customers, who include Mark Twain and Thomas Edison. Today, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who bought the company, and his father, Ian Ginsberg has retained the company’s historic old-world charm while uniting it with new technology and modern requirements. The store’s unrivaled selection of American and European luxury beauty products is a result of his extensive beauty knowledge and ability to spot key trends. Mr. Ginsberg has been hailed by Women’s Wear Daily as “The Apothecary Guru.”

Today, we recognize Mr. Ginsberg for carrying on the tradition of dedication to customer service with a Distinguished Alumnus Award.