He also held non-profit positions; at one point he was president of the University of California Board of Regents.
With the Dalai Lama among his influential friends, Mr. Blum developed an interest in South Asia as the home of Buddhist philosophy, a recipient of philanthropy and a place for adventure: He once led an expedition to part of Mount Everest.
In a statement of condolence, Mr. Biden called Mr. Blum “a successful California businessman and proud son who has devoted much of his public life to fighting poverty around the world” through founding the American Himalayan Foundation, a nun for-profit organization serving schools and hospitals in Tibet, and the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Berkeley, which focuses on innovative solutions to global poverty.
Richard Charles Blum was born on July 31, 1935 in San Francisco to Louise Hirsch and Herbert Blum, a robes and raincoat salesman who died during Richard’s youth. Richard is a Berkeley graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration.
He joined Sutro & Company, a San Francisco-based brokerage firm, at age 23, becoming a partner before turning 30, already a millionaire.
In addition to Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Blum has a brother, Robert; his daughters, Annette, Heidi and Eileen; his stepdaughter, Katherine; and seven grandchildren.
During Ms. Feinstein’s 1990 race to become governor of California, Mr. Blum told DailyExpertNews what he called “the triathlon of politics.”
“No. 1,” he said, “we regularly get to see what she’s ever done and what I’ve ever twisted in the papers. No. 2, we get to share 17 years of our tax returns on an intimate basis with 30 million people. And three: I get to pay to see all this happen.’
Shawn Hubler contributed reporting, and Kitty Bennett research contributed.