In Memoriam

Richard Stanley Abramson
July 24, 1945 - January 17, 2016

Click to enlarge.Richard Abramson -- "Abe" to his classmates, died peacefully at home in New York City on Jan. 17, 2016 following a long and brave battle with Multiple Myeloma. He was the loving husband of Lorraine, father of Gregg and Jill, father-in-law of Lauren and Jake, and proud Grandpa to Emma, Leah, Miles and Sadie. He lived his last five years, despite an increasingly debilitating illness, with the same grace, good humor, and love of family and friends that characterized his entire life.

Abe entered the Academy in the summer of 1963, became a member of the Class of 1968 the following summer, and never looked back. As a cadet, we associate Abe with his exceptional athletic performance as a swimmer and water polo player. He broke the Air Force record in four events and was the first cadet to represent the U.S. in an international competition at the World Maccabi Games in Israel in 1965.

While competing in Israel, Abe met a gold medal-winning sprinter from South Africa, Lorraine Lotzof, who became the love of his life. Three years later, following graduation, they were married in Johannesburg. In 1973 Lorraine went back to the Maccabi Games and won silver and bronze medals as a member of the U.S. team.

Abe continued to swim and when he turned 40 he came in 5th in the Masters World Championships and 7th in the Masters National Championships. In 2008 Abe swam in a relay across the English Channel and in June 2010 swam in a relay around Manhattan Island. In 2013, despite the challenges of his disease, he accomplished another relay swim around Manhattan Island to raise money for Multiple Myeloma.

Abe served four years in the Air Force as a procurement officer at Hanscom AFB, Mass. In 1972, he began his civilian business career as an associate in corporate finance at CBWL-Hayden Stone. From there he went on to the Funds Evaluation Group at AG Becker, Paribus, Inc., and then built a firm in 1975 called NSR Asset Management. Abe was senior vice president and senior managing director at Alliance Bernstein for the last 37 years. His phenomenal success in the world of investing was a source of pride to all his classmates, and he was always willing to share his time and investment advice with them.

Abe was dedicated to numerous philanthropic causes and sat on nine charitable boards. He was president of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and served on the investment committees of North Shore-LIJ Health System, The AOG, and the Legacy Heritage Fund for Jewish education. He was a board member of The American Friends of The Hebrew University.

Abe initiated and funded a program at The Auschwitz Jewish Center, where cadets from the Air Force, West Point and the Naval Academies go to Auschwitz to study the Holocaust. He supported The Israel Sports Center for the Disabled, American Israel Public Affairs Committee and United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York Philanthropies-and many more.

Abe's funeral service was at The Stephen Wise Synagogue in the heart of New York City, with internment on Long Island at New Montefiore Cemetery. Many of the eulogies by his family and friends alluded to his lifelong association with his classmates from USAFA, particularly those from his beloved Blackjack Squadron. He was known by all for the wisdom he imparted to his family and friends, and by that infectious smile that never left his face. Abe's intellect, good humor, and steadfast devotion to his friends will continue to inspire all who were privileged to know him. Shalom.

(Lorraine Abramson and Blackjack '68)

Click here for the announcement from the Association of Graduates.

We put Richard in the "Spotlight" in November 2010 - click here to read.

Abe was President of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and they just did a nice tribute to him at their last meeting. You can find it by going to and entering “abramson” in all lower case. It is very well done, and you will recognize one of the key contributors.

Return to In Memoriam