Remembering Foundation Fellow David Richards 1939-2015

2nd April 2015

News, Alumni news

Wadham alumnus and Foundation Fellow David K Richards (1961, PPE) died on 19 March at his home in Santa Monica at the age of 75.

An investment manager, philanthropist and supporter of research on Middle East policy issues David Richards completed his MBA at Harvard after graduating from Wadham in 1963.

“David was an outstanding, much loved member of our alumni community, and a profoundly intelligent and insightful man. We were always so grateful for the great generosity that he showed to Wadham as a Foundation Fellow, and for his advice and wise counsel over these many years. Although the College mourns his loss, we take great pride in our long association with David and he will always be remembered here with deep affection.  Our thoughts are with Carol and the family,” said Warden of Wadham College, Ken Macdonald QC.

At Oxford David took a keen interest in rowing, coaching for Oxford University Boat Club, and he had a lifelong love of cricket. He became a member of the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors and Wadham’s Development Council as well as the University of Oxford North American Campaign Board.

After receiving his MBA from Harvard Business School, he worked as a research analyst for HC Wainwright & Co in New York from 1965 to 1973. He then became a partner of Capital Research & Management Company in Los Angeles until 1985 when he joined PrimeCap Management as Vice Chairman until 1991. He then became a private investor. 

David Richards worked as a trustee, advisor and member of a number of philanthropic organisations and trusts including the Broadreach Foundation which seeks to expand opportunities for motivated young adults to travel, volunteer and study abroad and the RAND Corporation, a non-profit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis.

According to a RAND Corporations statement: “The first RAND study Richards underwrote — Building a Successful Palestinian State — focused on a single question: How can an independent Palestinian state, if created, be made successful? It came about after Richards contacted RAND, hoping to see an end to the Israeli-Palestine conflict.”

David is survived by his wife Carol Liebich, who he married in 1967, their two sons and three grandchildren.