Richard Matthew, Faculty Director of the UCI Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, issued this message on the passing of Blum Center founder Richard Blum:
Richard Blum passed away this Sunday, February 27, 2022. A remarkably successful business leader and accomplished mountain climber, his exposure to poverty while trekking in the Himalayas prompted him to think about what he could do. Among numerous philanthropic investments, he helped establish an education and research center at UC Berkeley that focused the vast assets of the university on studying, teaching about and solving the complex challenges of poverty and inequality in California and beyond. The Berkeley Blum Center was so successful that Richard decided to catalyze a system-wide initiative. Eight years ago I was appointed to direct the new Blum Center at UCI, and over the years I have been able to spend a considerable amount of time with Richard and other members of his family. He was a larger than life personality, filling rooms and inspiring people with his boundless energy, generosity, business acumen, confidence and compassion. He was a very strong supporter of our efforts at Irvine and I am honored to have worked with him for several years. On behalf of all of us at the UCI Blum Center, our deepest condolences to Senator Feinstein, his three daughters and step-daughter, his seven grandchildren and the rest of the family he adored.