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In Memoriam: Richard S. Abramson 1945-2016


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With profound sadness, The Washington Institute announces the passing of its president, Richard S. Abramson, after a long illness. He was 70.

"Richard was friend, partner, mentor, and the rarest of leaders -- one who leads by inspiration," said Institute Chairman Martin Gross and Executive Director Robert Satloff. "In life and in death, Richard was fearless, facing great challenges with remarkable courage, boundless energy and infectious good humor. For all whose life he touched, Richard's memory will be a true and lasting blessing."

Richard, who was senior national managing director of the investment firm AllianceBernstein, served many years as treasurer of the Institute before beginning his term as president in 2014. During his tenure, which witnessed the high drama of the Iran nuclear agreement, tension-filled moments in U.S.-Israel relations and the rising challenge of the Islamic State, he oversaw the Institute's memorable 30th anniversary celebrations, a highly successful anniversary campaign and the move into new headquarters in downtown Washington. Two weeks ago, Richard began his second term as president after his unanimous re-election by the Institute’s Board of Trustees last month.

A champion swimmer, Richard met his future wife Lorraine, a South African-born champion runner, while both competed in the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1965. Their two children -- Jill (Jacob Manczyk) and Gregg (Lauren Abramson) -- and four grandchildren (Miles, Sadie, Emma and Leah) are sources of great joy and pride. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Richard received his MBA from Babson College.

In 2012, the Institute paid special tribute to Richard and Lorraine at the organization’s annual Scholar-Statesman Dinner. The dedication in their honor read, in part, “With affection and gratitude, The Washington Institute is delighted to pay tribute to two of the kindest, gentlest, most generous donors in the world, friends of the organization in the truest sense of the word.”

The Richard S. Abramson Memorial Fund has been established to memorialize President Abramson and to support the Institute work in which he invested decades of his life. Your gift will perpetuate his memory and advance the Institute’s mission.