Richard D. Spizzirri
Richard D. Spizzirri, of Aspen, Colorado and East Hampton, NY died peacefully with his children at his bedside from complications of multiple myeloma on May 12, 2015 He was 82.
Richard, the son of Anthony and Marie Spizzirri was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois with his sister, the late Theresa Provenzano. After graduating from Oak Park River Forest High School, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brown University in 1955 and Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 1958.
Richard joined the international law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell headquartered in New York City where he practiced for 36 years before retiring as a senior partner in 1994. He was legal advisor to many leading investment banks and venture capital firms. As well as giving advice on a wide range of corporate legal matters, he specialized in corporate finance and structured and pioneered the use of research and development limited partnerships as a means of raising project-based capital for emerging biotechnology companies in the 1980’s, including Amgen and Genentech The use of these structures was critical to funding the clinical development of many of today’s most important drugs, including Amgen’s Neupogen, and Johnson and Johnson’s ReoPro.
Richard served on the boards of a number of technology and biotechnology companies and was an active investor in many entrepreneurial ventures. He was an avid patron of the arts and was a member of the board of trustees of the Julliard School of Music from 1967 through 1994. He had passions for art, gardening, classic films, music and was a long time member of the Metropolitan Opera Club.
He was an enthusiastic sportsman, particularly as a hiker and skier in the mountains surrounding his Colorado home, and was an avid tennis player.
In 1957 he married Lucy Irvine Forkner and settled in Greenwich CT in 1961. Together they had four children, Abigail (Kamen), Hillary (McAtee), Peter and Andy. Richard and Lucy were divorced in 1971
In addition to his children, Richard is survived by his wife Holly Leuders and his stepchildren, Margo, Jaime and Venetia Young, and his grandchildren, Alexander and Elizabeth Kamen, Haley, Jackson and Melody McAtee, Eliot, Nicholas and Alexandra Spizzirri and Lucas Spizzirri.