Our history

"Show me my way in life and I will build you a shrine."
-Danny Thomas' prayer to St. Jude Thaddeus


Unsure of his life’s direction, a young Danny Thomas sought guidance from St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes. If the saint would point to the path he should take, Danny vowed to build a shrine in his name. Success followed Danny’s plea and soon after, the legendary entertainer set about fulfilling his vow to St. Jude. The result was St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


A symbol of hope

Danny Thomas officially opened St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on February 4, 1962, with the unveiling of the statue of St. Jude Thaddeus.

Explore our history

We’ve spent more than half a century finding cures and saving children, and our groundbreaking research has helped push the survival rate for childhood cancer from 20% in 1962 to more than 80% today.

View our timeline to explore our key milestones from the day we opened to present day.

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