Jack Borgenicht Biography

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Fran Borgenicht and Ken Kambis

On April 23, 2007 The Foundation for Aging Studies and Exercise Science Research based in Williamsburg, Virginia, received a gift of one million dollars ($1,000,000) from The Borgenicht Foundation of Long Valley, NJ. Fran Borgenicht, widow of Jack Borgenicht, presented the gift.
Jack, who died on August 25, 2005 at the age of 93, was a mountain climber, businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who made history as the oldest person to climb Mount Rainier at the age of 81. Mr. Borgenicht had many interests including a commitment to support research in the areas of aging studies, altitude physiology, and exercise science. In 2003, Jack requested that Ken Kambis, his friend, mountain climbing partner, and research scientist, organize an independent foundation to support aging studies research that would be initially funded by The Borgenicht Foundation after Jack's death.

Jacob Moses (Jack) Borgenicht
August 29, 1911 - August 25, 2005

Jack was born in Hunter, NY to Regina and Louis Borgenicht. Louis was in the garment industry in New York City and Jack, the youngest of 14 children, went to work for his father at the age of 19. Eventually Jack took over the business and transformed it into one of the largest manufacturers of young girl's clothing in the U. S. He was known as a mountain climber, businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. For years, Jack and his wife Fran generously supported scientific research in the areas of aging studies and exercise physiology. Jack became a model for others when he volunteered for numerous research projects that required exhaustive exercise under sometimes hazardous field conditions. In one such study, Jack climbed to the summit of Mount Rainier on his 81st birthday thus setting a record that stood for 12 years. At the age of 87, he ascended to 13,500 feet on Mount Elbert, CO in a project studying adaptation to altitude in 24 hour increments of 2,000 feet. His legacy of high altitude mountaineering and the contributions he made to the study of how older adults adapt to high altitude remain the standard to which others are compared. His sense of curiosity and indefatigable spirit will live on through the work of The Foundation for Aging Studies and Exercise Science Research.