He has also held nonprofit positions; at one time he served as chairman of the board of trustees of the University of California.
With the Dalai Lama among his influential friends, Mr. Blum became interested in South Asia as a home of Buddhist philosophy, as a recipient of philanthropy and as a place of adventure: He led once an expedition on part of Mount Everest.
In a statement of condolences, Mr Biden called Mr Blum “a successful businessman and proud son of California who has dedicated much of his public life to fighting global poverty” through the creation of the American Himalayan Foundationa nonprofit group that builds 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 dress and raincoat salesman who died during Richard’s childhood. Richard graduated from Berkeley with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration.
He joined Sutro & Company, a San Francisco brokerage firm, at age 23 and became a partner before he was 30, by which time he was already a millionaire.
Besides Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Blum is survived by one brother, Robert; his daughters, Annette, Heidi and Eileen; his stepdaughter, Katherine; and seven grandchildren.
During Ms. Feinstein’s 1990 run for governor of California, Mr. Blum described to the New York Times what he called “the triathlon of politics.”
“No. 1,” he says, “we routinely see everything she’s done and everything I’ve done misrepresented in the papers. No. 2, we share 17 years of our tax returns intimately with 30 million people. And three, I have to pay to watch all of this happen.
Shawn Huber contributed to the reporting, and Kitty Bennett contributed to the research.