Richard Wolf Boone
(1927 - 2014)

Richard Wolf Boone
Nickname: Dick

Kentucky, United States of America
March 29, 1927

California, United States of America
February 26, 2014

Social justice, family, running, animals, government, Greek philosophy, classic literature and music
Guest Book
I worked with Dick when I was on the Field Foundation board and he was its director. He appointed me to direct the Foundation’s fellows program. Where we worked with some remarkable young organizers. I learned a lot from this gentle and brilliant man. I lost contact with Dick and I just found this site. My belated condolences to his family. I also lost contact with other staff members Jim and Ralph. Sorry I can’t remember their last names but if they read my post, please contact me via Facebook.
Joyce Ladner (Friend)
May 31st, 2020
I worked with Dick when I was on the Field Foundation board and he was its director. He appointed me to direct the Foundation’s fellows program. Where we worked with some remarkable young organizers. I learned a lot from this gentle and brilliant man. I lost contact with Dick and I just found this site. My belated condolences to his family. I also lost contact with other staff members Jim and Ralph. Sorry I can’t remember their last names but if they read my post, please contact me via Facebook.
Joyce Ladner (Friend)
May 31st, 2020
I worked with Dick when I was on the Field Foundation board and he was its director. He appointed me to direct the Foundation’s fellows program. Where we worked with some remarkable young organizers. I learned a lot from this gentle and brilliant man. I lost contact with Dick and I just found this site. My belated condolences to his family. I also lost contact with other staff members Jim and Ralph. Sorry I can’t remember their last names but if they read my post, please contact me via Facebook.
Joyce Ladner (Friend)
May 31st, 2020
I worked with Dick when I was on the Field Foundation board and he was its director. He appointed me to direct the Foundation’s fellows program. Where we worked with some remarkable young organizers. I learned a lot from this gentle and brilliant man. I lost contact with Dick and I just found this site. My belated condolences to his family. I also lost contact with other staff members Jim and Ralph. Sorry I can’t remember their last names but if they read my post, please contact me via Facebook.
Joyce Ladner (Friend)
May 31st, 2020
My best wishes to all the Boone family. I worked for Dick at the Citizens Policy Center i remember a man who always wore jeans, took power naps in the closet and had a beautiful and ferocious dog named Rafa. Dick gave me a career that I have loved for 40 years. Dick saw something in me I didn't even know was there. What. I remember most are wonderful dinners sitting around the table at the beautiful 'old yellow house' in Santa Barbara solving the worlds problems. It was years after that I realized the scope of his impact not only on the young people he worked with but with people throughou his life. He will be greatly missed by many
Melinda Moore (Employee and frien)
March 27th, 2015
Mr. Boone hired me as a college intern at CCAP during the summer of 1967 to do a spot followup survey to the Hunger Report on current poverty conditions. This was to be part of a progress report to the board of directors. Under his direction I made telephone calls and a trip to the deep South to assess the impact of the Report on actual conditions in target areas.

The experience was very significant to me. He treated me as a full adult (even though I knew that it was a bit premature) and, in a mentoring way, thoughtfully helped me deal with a youthful, self-imposed sense of my personal limits. I learned to contact important people and document facts that contributed to causes (both socio-economic and racial) that I was coming to deeply believe in. I had the opportunity to make a presentation on my survey to the Board, which included Ralph Abernathy at the time.

I have thought of Mr. Boone with affection and respect many times in the intervening years (not to mention some effort keeping him separated from Richard Boone of Have Gun, Will Travel, who I also greatly admired as a younger child). Reading comments on this website, I realize now that, had I not been so awed by him, I might have been able to maintain a small but significant (to me) relationship with him. I would have greatly valued that, as others who have done so have clearly expressed here.

Reviewing the balance of his life's work in the obituary on this site and in other articles, I see that my youngster's immense sense of respect for his leadership, his personal commitment, and his remarkable effectiveness was very well deserved. I have no recollection of what prompted me to do a Google search for CCAP last week, after nearly half a century, thus discovering the articles about his recent passing. But I am glad to have this opportunity to pay my deepest respects to one of the most impressive and thoughtful people I have ever had the privilege to know.

My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends, who I hope are consoled to know that his life was one of great purpose and great accomplishment in the pursuit of that most complicated of goals, social justice.
Jack Jenkins (Employee, mentee)
June 4th, 2014
You were a rock, always there to provide guidance and wisdom whenever it was needed. Even for extended family, such as when my mom became ill and needed to be hospitalized, or when she needed to be moved to another facility. I'm eternally grateful to you for your support during those difficult times. The world is a colder place with you gone from it. Your life's achievements and selfless struggles to help those in need are an inspiration to us all to do whatever we can to carry on the good fight. We will never forget you.
Donna Cayot (Dick's son Jed's sister-i)
May 16th, 2014
To: Chloris, Steven, Wade, Brent and Laurel Boone
Date: March 1, 2014


Dick Boone has died. Many memories flood my mind regarding my relationship with him over a forty-year plus period. Two phone calls that I made to him over the years stand out as flashbulb memories. Flashbulb memories are personal experiences that become deeply embedded in one’s recall neurons. Regardless of the length of time in the past that these memories occurred, they are vividly etched in one’s psychophysical being and on instant recall when stimulated.

My flashbulb memories of Dick do much to define the relationship we had, particularly at the height of his powers and my youth during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Dick was my mentor, friend and supporter during my coming of age as a more fully realized human being.

The first flashbulb takes me immediately back to Omaha, Nebraska in 1972. Dick was the executive director of the RFK Memorial in Washington, D.C. I was finishing up my second year as a RFK Fellow, assigned to Rapid City, South Dakota. Reuben Snake, a Winnebago Native American, had asked me to monitor and legally chaperone the first historic Native civil rights march to Nebraska’s capital, Omaha. The march would end at the Governor’s office, where tribal members would under media scrutiny present a list of grievances to the governor.

Dick gave his blessing to leaving my Rapid City post, and paid my expenses to travel to and from the Winnebago Indian Reservation. On the appointed day, we marched through downtown Omaha to the state capitol and governor’s office. There were over a hundred tribal members and supporters in the march. Except for some jeering and racist name-calling from bystanders, things went surprising well without any violent or other incidents.

Things abruptly changed when the march arrived at the governor’s office. When tribal members attempted to deliver their written grievances to the governor, he refused to meet with them. He retreated to his office and asked security to remove us from the office anteroom, where we were all jammed in shoulder to shoulder—men, women, elders and children. This final snub and dismissal of the tribe and its legitimate grievances after decades of racist and discriminatory action and non-action by the state of Nebraska was the final insult to the tribe, especially some of the young warriors who were present that day.

The room exploded into action. Furniture and bodies from inside the office barricaded doors. Tribal members (along with one wide-eyed young RFK lawyer) and the governor’s staff were now herded together into one large yet now very crowded room. The governor quickly exited the scene from a private office door. Once he safely exited, state troopers began demanding we leave immediately, threatening the group with mass arrest and possible violence. The young tribal members refused to budge until the governor would meet with them.

I quickly decided that this would be a good time to call Dick for help. I gained access to a phone and called the Memorial in D.C. Dick and Ralph Caprio immediately responded. I explained the tense situation we were facing. Without hesitation, Dick said he would call Senator Edward Kennedy for assistance. He also told me to hold the line and not surrender to an insensitive governor.

As the troopers were giving us a final warning to leave and preparing to gas us out of the office, and some of the elder Winnebago began singing their death songs, help arrived. Within thirty minutes of my call to Dick, Senator Kennedy had called the governor and explained why it would be best to personally meet with tribal representatives and their lawyer and peacefully end the siege. My mentor and supporter had literally saved what could have been another slaughter of indigenous people, not to mention my idealistic butt.

The second phone call to Dick occurred in late 1980, and was much more personal. My family and I had just moved from Santa Barbara to Evansville, Indiana. I was pursuing a position as the director of the Legal Services program in Bloomington. The position never materialized. I was flat broke with a wife and child, and things looked grim. I was able to secure a position representing miners in Black Lung cases as an independent legal contractor with a highly financially successful former judge and now law practitioner in order to financially survive. The relationship lasted a very short period of time. My position dissolved over our differences regarding my pro bono work for a local environmental group, with my employer representing the polluting coal company my clients opposed.

Once again, on the cusp of disaster, I called Dick. He immediately responded with an offer of help. Within a couple of days of my call, he offered me a job working as an investigative lawyer for a youth employment organization, which was funded by the Field Foundation. Dick was the Foundation’s director. Within days we were in Washington, D.C., where Dick arranged assistance for us from his son, Wade (thanks, Wade), who we lived with temporarily, and Dave Hackett of the Memorial. Dick’s unwavering support for a friend made all the difference in my life path at the time. We have been on a roll ever since.

Like all of us humans, Dick was far from perfect. He often struggled with showing emotion, and could be quite cold and distant at times. Hugging others was not a natural talent for him. However he was a good and decent man. When he observed discrimination, injustice and inequality he reacted with all the power and energy his disciplined intellect and body could muster. He could soar in the realm of the idealistic yet never lose contact with the reality of doing something real and lasting; as in, “Tom, that’s a great idea but is it replicable elsewhere without you?”

He will be remembered. He will be missed.

Go easily into the night, old friend. Congratulations on a life well lived…

In great respect, affection and love,

Tom DiGrazia & Family
326 Lala Place
Kailua, HI 96734
May 3rd, 2014
Beginning in 1963, Dick "recruited" me for the Juvenile Justice initiative of Robert Kennedy, first as staff, then as speechwriter. Then at OEO, when I was Sargent Shriver's special assistant and speechwriter, Dick continued to be my mentor. Dick brought my wife, Jean Camper Cahn, over to the Commuity Action Program to launch what became the national legal service program. At his request, my wife and I wrote the piece he wanted on the dimensions of maximum feasible participation After leaving government, he recruited me to draft Hunger USA -- and later at the Field Foundation helped me launch TimeBanking. In recent months, in phone conversations he shared with me that, when we at the Justice Department were drafting the OEO legislation, he was the author of the phrase "maximum feasible participation." This country owes Dick so much for what he did and what he set in motion. I cannot begin to express my debt, passed and continuing, to his visionary leadership.
Edgar Cahn (Mentee and colleague)
March 23rd, 2014
Beginning in the late 70's, I had the pleasure to work with Dick on numerous philanthropic ventures, including creating programs to help employ at-risk youths and settling Indo-Chinese refugees. He began a great mentor to me with wise and sensible counsel for the remainder of his life. I will miss my friend for the rest of my life.
Tom Scanlon (friend and collaborator)
March 20th, 2014
such a huge loss,
Mack McMillin (friend)
March 9th, 2014
It has been a great privilege to have had Dick as a friend and colleague during part of his remarkable life. He saw opportunities for collective action and then quietly and effectively worked to make life better for the poor, the hungry and the powerless.
I can hear Dick saying “One can fix blame, fix credit or fix a problem, but usually only one and I simply choose to focus on fixing the problem.”
Grace is a quality that is seldom found today and is possibly even rarer among advocates challenging convention and working to change society. Dick Boone was full of grace.
It is also my honor to know the Boone clan, my condolences to the family.
Goodbye Dick, we will all miss you. I miss you.
Jim Browne (freind)
March 8th, 2014
Dick was a pillar of inspiration to me. It is impossible for me to measure the impact he had on my life as a social justice advocate and fundraiser. Over the years I worked at The Youth Project and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities I often turned to him for advice which he gave generously. Dick also was an understanding friend to me during my mom's illness and other family challenges. I have a heavy heart knowing he is gone but I celebrate him and all he did to promote social and economic justice. His life served as a reminder of how much one person can make a ripple of change throughout many decades of their lives, touching thousands, if not millions, by their actions. I wish I had seen him before he died, but I am grateful that he did not suffer long with cancer. May he rest in peace.
Tricia Rubacky (friend )
March 7th, 2014
I've lost a very good friend, good luck too all
Bob Castleberry (friend)
March 6th, 2014
Dick Boone was one of a small handful of people I would call heroic. What a rare treasure to have him as a collaborator and true friend for the past 25 years!
I first worked with Dick on the citizens' efforts to end nuclear weapons testing and production; control nuclear proliferation; and begin to remediate the staggering waste and contamination left by the nuclear weapons complex.
That was probably just one of many projects left out of the biography on this site, because Dick was always more interested in results than in getting credit for them. In meetings, Dick was always an observer and gentle guide foremost, with his eternally calm, thoughtful presence. When he did speak up, one had best listen to every word.
Dick was a master at guiding philanthropic money to its most effective uses. He listened to people in a problem area, formulated the essential issues, planned a careful strategy, then enlisted and supported people capable of carrying it out. The results far exceeded what one would expect from the budget and the number of participants.
The "Military Production Network" was a coalition of national and local organizations that sponsored educational events, produced the first documents showing citizens the extent of the nuclear weapons complex, and helped end many of the most dangerous programs and practices. The risk of nuclear war is not gone, but it has been reduced, and we can never calculate how many lives have been saved.
Aside from all that, my wife Naomi and I will never forget the times walking on the beaches and bluffs of Santa Barbara, simply sharing with Dick Boone some of the best of what life is all about.

I cannot express how much we will miss him.
Peter Gray (Friend and colleague)
March 4th, 2014
I’m deeply saddened to learn that Dick Boone has passed away. My wife Marie and I, and on behalf of all members and supporters of the Center for Economic and Social Justice, we offer our condolences to his wife Chloris and all family members and friends.

Dick was a leader with the courage to be open to bold ideas, a rarity among many people who led the nation’s War on Poverty. Dick truly believed in and actually orchestrated highly participatory, bottom-up policies for attacking the systemic causes of poverty and social injustices. Without Dick, I doubt that the goal of the Community Action Program to promote grassroots models of “maximum feasible participation of the poor” would ever have been adopted into law. I will be forever grateful to Dick for hiring me in 1964, giving me the opportunity to write the guidelines for the bottom-up empowerment approach when the War on Poverty was born.

When the two of us left the government’s poverty program in 1965, Dick, as the co-founder with Walter Reuther and new head of the Citizens Crusade Against Poverty, asked me to serve as its director of planning. Dick gave me many opportunities to advocate among grassroots, labor, and social activists projects promoting the revolutionary ideas of the lawyer-binary economist Louis O. Kelso for ending wage and welfare slavery by lifting financial barriers to the democratization of the free enterprise system, starting with worker ownership sharing. After the1968 riots following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dick supported my work with leaders of the Central Harlem Council of Neighborhood Boards to plan the rebuilding of Central Harlem, financed in ways that would achieve broad-based citizen ownership of the land and rentable space. Both Kelso and the world design scientist Buckminster Fuller, who had already designed a Harlem new city plan, were willing to serve as consultants to the CHCNB. Despite my success in writing CCAP’s proposal that received $1 million to support grassroots initiatives around the country, foundations treated our Harlem new city plan as being ahead of its time.

I left CCAP in 1969 to co-found with Kelso the Institute for the Study of Economic Systems. By 1974, thanks to Dick’s early support for my passion for justice, this led to the first of over 20 laws promoting financing innovations for over 11,000 successful worker ownership companies with over 11 million workers.

Dick’s foundational support for CESJ’s work for economic and social justice for all is now working to address systemic flaws in the U.S. and all other economies to overcome what Pope Francis calls “the tyranny of money” and gross “inequality of ownership, power and income inequality.” Thanks to Dick’s legacy, our proposed Capital Homestead Act will overhaul any nation’s tax, monetary and financial systems to finance faster rates of economic growth, linked to full equality of access to future ownership opportunities, profit distributions and economic empowerment as a fundamental right of citizenship for every child, woman and man, from the bottom-up. I will miss him.

Norm Kurland

Norm Kurland (Colleague)
March 2nd, 2014
I have lost a dear friend and admired colleague. We shared adventures starting in the 1950's and continuing for decades. So many bright memories of good times with Dick and Chloris, joined by my wife, Jane. My son, Kirk, joins me in sending condolences. Well done old friend. A life well lived.
Kim Nelson (Old Friend)
March 2nd, 2014
So pround of your legacy, my daughter is now working for Fairfax county public school on Head Start Program that you help establish. Very good program for the poor children.
Liana Saevoon (Your son's (Wade) friend)
March 2nd, 2014
My friend and confidant since 1957. He was a devoted father to his five children. His wife, Chloris, was at his side through his work for social justice. The world was made better.

Good night dear friend.
raff caprio (friend)
March 2nd, 2014
A life well lived.
Stephen Trachtenberg (Respectful fan)
March 2nd, 2014
Dick and I got to be friends and colleagues while he was the President of the Field Foundation and I was a Program Officer at the New World Foundation. Both offices were located in the same building in NY. I spent more time seeking Dick's advice than I did with my boss. We laughed a lot. He loved his dog (Raph?)

I will him

Ghebre Selassie Mehreteab (Friend and Colleague)
March 2nd, 2014
What a wonderful man your father was. I always remember the few times that we visited the Boone family in Washington, DC. Your dad was always welcoming and loving to me and my family. He will always be remembered. I will be thinking of your family and wish you all the best. Love, Susan
Susan Doll (Niece)
March 1st, 2014
Love u all, sad too hear about Mr Boone
Mack MacMillan (friend)
March 1st, 2014
What an incredible life! In addition to everything else he accomplished, Dick's savvy strategic guidance played a key role in strengthening the U.S. anti-nuclear weapons movement. His thoughtful advice will be missed.
Robert Schaeffer (colleague, student and fr)
March 1st, 2014
Dick's intellect, creativity and passion established important, lasting public policies. His legacy includes nurturing countless friends, inspiring us to do more and grow. His generosity of spirit and unfailing encouragement changed many lives for the better, mine included. He will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in peace!
Lenny Conway (Friend, My Mentor)
March 1st, 2014
Thanks very much for being my best friend and wonderful father-in-law. I will miss you and our phone calls every Friday afternoon. You always concerned and encouraged me anytime we talked on the phone. I will keep in mind all your advices. I am very lucky to be your daughter-in-law and very proud of you.
With Love,
Huong Van (daughter-in-law)
Huong Van (Daughter-in-law)
March 1st, 2014
A friend, colleague, mentor, inspiration. A life lived in full and he gave it all back laboring for a better world. He will be remembered and missed.

Jerry Berman
Washington DC
Berkeley Springs, WV
Jerry Berman (Friend, Colleague)
March 1st, 2014
I'm so sorry for the loss of Mr. Boone, I have a lot of love in my Heart for the Man.

My Condolences too the Family
Bob Castleberry ( Friend of the Family)
March 1st, 2014
Grandpa Dick,
Thank you for always being there for me, for enlightening me, for inspiring me, and showing the world the importance of paying it forward. Your love of life and your legacy will live on in those that love you. You were a great husband, father and grandfather.
With much love,
Sarah Boone (granddaughter)
March 1st, 2014
I will miss Dick as a neighbor and friend.
Paul Norton (Neightbor)
February 28th, 2014
You were a wonderful friend and father-in-law, I already miss you. May peace be with you always.
Angela Boone (daughter-in-law)
February 27th, 2014
This is the memorial I set up for Richard Boone. To sign the guest book, click on the "Sign Guest Book" button below.
Steven Boone
February 26th, 2014
32 entries
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"Mr. Boone, Thank you for inducting me into the professional world, for remaining a steadfast friend to my father since Chicago days, for your honest intellect and courage, for your commitment to family love, and for your laugh. My best to Dad;}"
Liz Ramage
March 9th, 2014
"There has never been a greater fighter for social and economic justice than Dick. He was the heart of the Johnson anti-poverty programs. They reflected his vision, values and commitment. We have lost a great man. He will be missed Pablo Eisenberg"
Pablo Eisenberg
March 8th, 2014
"Dick was a firm believer in fundamental social change, an immensely creative actor on social justice issues, a steadfast champion of people our society too often leaves behind. And he helped so many young people like me devote our careers to change"
Andy Mott
March 7th, 2014
"I first met Dick in 1977 when he was at the Field Foundation and I was hired to open the Appalachian office of the Youth Project, another organization imbued with Dick’s vision and genius. The man asked such piercing and to-the-point questions. O"
Chuck Shuford
March 6th, 2014
"Dick played a crucial role while at the Field Foundation supporting SANE and the movement against nuclear weapons during the 1980s. He was a mentor whose wisdom profoundly shaped my life."
David Cortright
March 6th, 2014
"I worked with Dick on the effort to end nuclear weapons production and testing, starting 25 years ago, and he became a favorite friend and mentor. Among many projects that he took little credit for, that one made the world a better and safer place."
Peter Gray
March 3rd, 2014
"I was a colleague at OEO at the beginning of the War on Poverty. There are 10s of 1000s of Americans whose lives were profoundly enhanced as a result of Dick's efforts. They never knew him or his name. So we must speak for them. THANK YOU!!"
Lewis Eigen
March 1st, 2014
"We worked together for Robert Kennedy and the War on Poverty and I will always remember his quiet voice and wry smile. With one look you that he knew everything. His footprints marked pathways that many of us still follow today"
stan salett
March 1st, 2014
"Dick was one of those singular people who sees who you are and thereby changes your life forever. What an honor to have known and loved such an extraordinary yet down-to-earth guy. I will miss him...the planet will miss him."
Ann Brode
February 28th, 2014
"Thank you for the gift of life; mine and yours . . . and especially that you leave a beautiful legacy that I am part of . . . one that puts justice at the forefront."
Steven Boone
February 26th, 2014


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