Photo of Richard Blum

Conversations with Richard C. Blum: Businessman, Philanthropist, President Emeritus Board of Regents University of California.

Conducted by Victor Geraci, Ann Lage, and Lisa Rubens 2010-2014, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2015.

Richard Blum is a businessman, philanthropist and public servant, a member and former chair of the University of California Board of Regents. He serves on a host of cultural, commercial and philanthropic boards. Born and raised in San Francisco, he is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley where he also earned his MBA. The fourteen interviews in this oral history chronicle his career as a broker and his extraordinary success as an investment banker through his company, Blum Capital. They cover his early interest in Asia, both as an investor and as a trekker in the Himalayas, and the critical role he has played ameliorating conditions for people in that region through his American Himalaya Foundation. Interviews cover his growing interest in local and national politics, his activities in support of the University of California, his marriage to Senator Dianne Feinstein, his involvement with the Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton foundations and the Brookings Institution. A capstone of his career is the creation and leadership of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley. Readers will be regaled by stories of his entrepreneurship—buying the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, running CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm—as well as his personal relationships with luminaries such as the Dalai Lama and Sir Edmund Hillary.

See related oral histories in Business and University of California History.



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