Statement Regarding Former TCF President Richard Leone

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Century Foundation president Richard C. Leone, who died last night surrounded by his family and close friends.

He served as the president of The Century Foundation (formerly the Twentieth Century Fund) from 1989 to 2011.

Dick was a policy visionary, raising concern about the challenges confronting average Americans long before most politicians and the media began to recognize them. At the helm of TCF, he focused on reducing income and wealth inequality, strengthening social insurance, enhancing voting rights, improving our educational and health care systems, and resisting arguments once popular in both parties that unfettered market forces always serve the public interest.

He led the charge against the privatization of Social Security in the 1990s, initiated programs that helped shape the Help America Vote Act in the wake of the controversial 2000 presidential recount, and conceived the first full-length book to raise questions about how the government’s response to the attacks of 9/11 unnecessarily abridged fundamental civil liberties.

For him, public policy wasn’t a job—it was a mission. He was always two steps ahead on key debates, supporting work that was intellectually rigorous and exclusively oriented toward improving the lives of ordinary Americans.

We had the opportunity to visit with Dick a few weeks ago and reminisced fondly about his time and accomplishments at Century.  He remained as passionate and engaged as ever, despite his ailing health, and we are deeply saddened by his passing.

On behalf of everyone here at The Century Foundation, our thoughts go out to Dick’s family and friends.


Chairman Bradley Abelow and President Mark Zuckerman

The Century Foundation