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Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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September 12, 2003

In Memory, Margaret Gruter

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Posted by Zack Lynch

"No, I shall not entirely die beyond the grave much."  An amazing woman.

Comments (1) | Category:


1. Anonymous on April 4, 2004 10:46 PM writes...

non omnis moriar
multaque pars me
vitabit libitnam

No, I shall not entirely die
beyond the grave much of me
will remain with you


It is with great sadness that the Gruter Institute announces the death of its founder and leader Dr. Margaret Gruter.

Many of you knew her personally through your common interests in law, biology, economics and other behavioral sciences. We knew her as a tireless mentor, and visionary leader. She was a force of nature affecting everyone with whom she came into contact. Her ability to touch her family, friends and colleagues, whether by encouraging you to share new ideas across disciplines, helping cultivate that interdisciplinary paper you had been long thinking about, or lending a wise ear to the latest trials and tribulations from your life, will never cease to amaze us.

Together with her daughter, Vera, and husband, Dr. Joachim Gruter, Margaret emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1951. She was thrilled to finally land in America after leaving war-torn Germany, where a nascent democracy still struggled to take hold. The family first moved to Ohio, where her husband served as the medical doctor of a small rural county. Never one to sit still, she began a diverse series of projects, including a mink ranch and a Christmas tree farm. Most notably, Margaret started and later sold a successful nursing home business, the Gruter Foundation.

The sale of the Gruter Foundation prompted a move to California, where she was able to quench her thirst for intellectual nourishment. Margaret augmented the legal education she had received in Heidelberg during the Second World War by obtaining her advanced law degree (J.S.M.) from Stanford University. Along with her inveterate elegance and charm, this diverse and unique background set the stage for her ability to motivate and bring out the best in scholars across so many disciplines, thus launching the Gruter Institute.

After founding the Gruter Institute in 1981, Margaret continued her unrelenting efforts to foster multi-disciplinary research in law, evolutionary biology, economics, neurobiology and numerous other behavioral sciences for 22 years. A woman of exceptional drive, supreme intellect and accomplished business acumen, she was uniquely positioned to pioneer the bridging of the gap between law and the behavioral sciences.

As Margaret said on many occasions, so much of this endeavor remains to be explored and brought to light. Even on her last day, she was talking of the exciting research that lay ahead for the Institute and of her many wonderful friends and colleagues. We know she would delight in asking each of you to continue your work to make this endeavor all the richer.

Margaret is survived by her daughter, Dr. Vera Morhenn, her son, Oliver Gruter, and her grandchildren, Eric Morhenn, Monika Gruter Cheney, and Ashley and Megan Gruter. Funeral services were held on Monday, August 4th in a small outdoor service in Palo Alto, California.

Additional information about Margaret’s life is contained in her autobiography, Searching for Justice and Living Without It, co-written with her grandson, Eric Morhenn (available on

The family has requested that those so choosing may, in lieu of flowers, make a donation to the Gruter Institute: Gruter Institute 158 Goya Road Portola Valley, CA 94028.

We will miss her greatly.

Monika Gruter Cheney
Executive Director Gerti Dieker
Director of Administration Jeanne Giaccia
Program Coordinator
Advisory Board
Timothy H. Goldsmith, Ph.D., Biology
Kathleen Wermke, Ph. D., Biology
Co-Chairpersons Directors Berkeley Office
Robert Cooter, Ph.D.
Dr. jur. Wolfgang Fikentscher

Planning and Programming Committee
Oliver R. Goodenough, J.D.
Paul J. Zak, Ph.D.
Director, Interdisciplinary Research Munich Office
Dr. jur. Wolfgang Fikentscher
Vermont Office
Oliver R. Goodenough, J.D.
Board of Directors
Monika Gruter Cheney, President
Helmut Poppa, Vice President
Gerti Dieker, Secretary and Treasurer
• Richard Buxbaum, J.D.
• Michael T. McGuire, M.D.
• Waltraud Poppa

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