by Susan Berfield
When Andrew Solomon, then 31, fell into a deep depression in 1994, his father’s life changed immediately and immeasurably. Howard Solomon, the head of a modest drug company in New York City called Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX), brought Andrew to live with him the day his son started taking medication. At first, says Howard, “I didn’t understand what Andrew was suffering, that he was really ill. I told him, ‘Cheer up, hang in there, it will pass.’ Andrew made me understand. We were fortunate that he could articulate his terror.” Howard, 67 at the time, became Andrew’s nurse, advocate, companion. He woke Andrew every morning, assuring his son the hopelessness would fade; he ate dinner with Andrew every night, cutting up his son’s food when Andrew couldn’t.
In this way, the Solomons could be any parent and child brought together by a serious illness. What sets them apart is how the experience transformed both them and the company that Howard Solomon has run for the past two and a half decades. Solomon is remarkably reserved, a lawyer by training, a man used to going about his business unnoticed. But now his professional and personal lives, once as separate as any chief executive’s could be, are intertwined. …
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