Richard Blum, the husband of Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, died Sunday at age 86 after a years-long battle with cancer, the senator announced.
“My heart is broken today. 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,” she said in a statement. Blum, a private equity executive and member of the University of California Board of Regents, married Feinstein in 1980, shortly after she became mayor of San Francisco in the aftermath of the assassination of George Moscone.
Sad news — Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum has died. pic.twitter.com/0NeHQvYJqw
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) February 28, 2022
Blum was also a member of the board of trustees of The Carter Center, former President Jimmy Carter’s foundation, which promotes public health programs in developing countries. An associate of the Dalai Llama, he also co-founded and sat on the board of directors of the American Himalayan Foundation. Blum led a group to the Tibetan side of Mount Everest alongside Sir Edmund Hillary in 1981, but Feinstein refused to allow him to attempt a climb to the summit of the world’s tallest mountain.
“I think his compassion and devotion to the people of the Himalayan region may prove to be his most enduring legacy,” Feinstein continued. “His friendship with the Dalai Lama helped shape us, and his creation of the American Himalayan Foundation was one of his proudest achievements.” (RELATED: Jean Rounds, Wife Of Sen. Mike Rounds, Dies Of Cancer)
Feinstein’s colleagues from across the political spectrum expressed their condolences.
“Paul and I are heartbroken to learn of the passing of our dear friend, a devoted philanthropist and a proud San Franciscan, Richard Blum. All of us fortunate enough to know Richard and his beloved wife, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, know that they share a beautiful love and partnership that was truly a joy to behold,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said.
“I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Sen. Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum. Terra and I are praying for Sen. Feinstein as she grieves the loss of her husband of over 40 years,” Republican California Rep. David Valadao added.