Cover photo for Richard  C. Leone's Obituary
Richard  C. Leone Profile Photo

Richard C. Leone

d. July 16, 2015

Richard C. Leone, former president of the Century Foundation and a past chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, died on Thursday, July 16. He was 75 years old. He was being treated for Parkinson's disease and was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Born in Webster, New York in 1940, Dick Leone spent the bulk of his career in public service. A graduate of the University of Rochester, he earned a Masters degree and a PhD at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs.
A pragmatic progressive whose views were forged during the Kennedy era, Leone worked on many local and national campaigns. One of his proudest moments was working as an advance man on Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign in Oregon. He also worked on presidential campaigns for George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis and Bill Bradley.
In the '60s, he was executive director of the White House Task Force on The Cities. In addition, Leone managed Brendan Byrne's two successful campaigns for Governor of New Jersey, in 1973 and 1977. From 1974 to 1977, Leone was state treasurer of New Jersey. In 2004, he served as chairman of Governor Jon Corzine's transition committee.
Leone served as a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, and was chairman of the Port Authority from 1990 to 1994. From 1989 to 2011, he was president of the Century Foundation (formerly Twentieth Century Fund), a public policy think tank. Leone steered the foundation to concentrate on such issues as inequality and civil liberties and he fought against attempts at privatizing Social Security.
Leone's private sector jobs included working as President of the New York Mercantile Exchange and a managing director at Dillon Read & Co. He has long been a director/trustee of multiple funds at Dreyfus Corp. and serves on the board of the Center for American Progress.
Burial is private, but a memorial service will take place in Princeton, New Jersey in September. He is survived by his wife, Meg Cox Leone; his children Kate Leone and Max Leone, and his granddaughter Lucy Kirschner, as well as his sister Sandra Leone Thomas Brooks and first wife, Anita Leone. As well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor his memory can consider donations to New Jersey Policy Perspective or the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard C. Leone, please visit our flower store.

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