Richard Blum dead: Husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein was 86

Richard Blum, a San Francisco businessman, philanthropist and the husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, died late Sunday, the senator’s office announced Monday morning.

“My heart is broken today,” Feinstein said in a statement. “My husband was my partner and best friend for more than 40 years. He was by my side for the good times and for the challenges. I am going to miss him terribly.”

Blum died at the family home after a long battle with cancer, the senator’s office said. He was 86.

Blum was chairman of equity investment management firm Blum Capital Partners. He also dedicated much of his life to the people of the Himalayas, founding the American Himalayan Foundation in 1981 — something Feinstein described as “one of his proudest achievements.”

“As a role model, Dick was second to none, and I think his compassion and devotion to the people of the Himalayan region may prove to be his most enduring legacy,” she said.

Feinstein has represented California in the U.S. Senate since 1992. She and Blum married in 1980 when she was mayor of San Francisco.

“Dick was incredibly devoted to his family, particularly his daughters and his grandchildren, and my heart is with them and everyone who Dick encountered,” Feinstein said. “He was the type of man who really replaced his divot in life, who left things better than he found them. His enormous generosity is an inspiration for so many of us.”

A longtime friend of the Dalai Lama, Blum was an honorary consul of Nepal, the senator’s office said. He also founded the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley, which is focused on addressing global poverty.

He served as a member of the University of California Board of Regents and was chairman emeritus of the board.

Blum also served as co-chairman of the World Conference on Religion and Peace and was a founding member of National Geographic’s International Council of Advisors.

He was a trustee of the executive committee of the Carter Center and sat on several boards including the World Wildlife Fund, the Wilderness Society, the Brookings Institution, the California Academy of Sciences and the Glide Foundation, Feinstein’s office said.

“We have a hole in our hearts that will never be filled,” she said. “Dick, we love you, we’ll miss you and we’ll continue to celebrate everything you accomplished during an amazing life.”

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