By Claudia Keenan, daughter of Richard Magat
Mar. 15, 2017: Richard Magat of White Plains, a writer and former philanthropic official, passed away on March 13.
Born in New Haven, Richard grew up in the Bronx. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and New York University and then worked as a newspaper reporter.
In 1957, he began a 25-year career at the Ford Foundation, where he served as director of communications until 1982. During this time, he sat on the mayor's panel on decentralization of the New York City schools and edited the committee's plan, "Reconnection for Learning." On sabbatical, he served on the Joint Committee on the Reappraisal of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland, and edited its report.
Appointed president of the Edward W. Hazen Foundation in 1983, his initiatives included the first study of black philanthropy with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
During this time, he was also senior consultant to the Council on Foundations, a visiting fellow at Yale University's Program on Nonprofit Organizations, a visiting fellow at The Foundation Center, and editor-in-chief of the Landmarks in Philanthropy Project for Harvard University's Hauser Center on Nonprofit Organizations.
He also served as vice chair of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and consulted with the German Marshall Fund, the Russell Sage Foundation, and Catholic Relief Services.
Among his many publications, Richard co-authored Community Control and the Urban School (1970), about the 1968 New York City teachers strike and the Brooklyn community of Ocean Hill-Brownsville; The Ford Foundation at Work: Philanthropic Choices, Methods and Styles (1979); and Unlikely Partners: Philanthropic Foundations and the Labor Movement (1998).
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Gloria; his children, Gordon Magat (Beverly Feinberg) and Claudia Keenan (Jeffrey); and his grandchildren, Dylan Keenan (Laura Pisarello), Sam Keenan (Katie), and Daniel Magat.
about a memorial service.
Pictured here: Richard Magat.
Photo courtesy Claudia Keenan