Honoring the Memory of Founding Chairman Elliot L. Richardson
The Hitachi Foundation lost a great leader and friend on December 31, 1999, with the passing of Elliot Richardson at age 79.
Richardson is best known as the principled government official who resigned as the U.S. Attorney General in 1973 in an historic showdown with President Richard Nixon over the Watergate investigation. Richardson left his post rather than carry out Nixon's directive to fire Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor in the case. Richardson's action transformed him for a time into a national hero.
To us, he was much more. Richardson was the founding chairman of The Hitachi Foundation, a post he accepted in 1985 at the invitation of then-Hitachi President, Dr. Katsushige Mita. Assembling a diverse and top quality board, Richardson guided the Foundation for 12 years. His purposeful leadership and graceful touch are reflected across the full breadth of our activities and programs.
"Elliot had a deep commitment to community service and to improving the conditions of the underserved," said Joseph Kasputys, Hitachi Foundation chair. He was convinced that most problems we face, either locally, nationally or internationally, could not be solved by government alone but required partnerships across sectors. He wanted The Hitachi Foundation to be a catalyst in creating and guiding such partnerships.
Richardson said many times that he felt the relationship between the U.S. and Japan is the most important bilateral relationship in the world. "What people must think about in the 21st century is how we are going to live together in this world as different people and overcome ethnic differences," he said shortly before his death.
Perhaps it is fitting that a man who so aptly represented the best of the 20th century would die on its last day. Elliot's hand is on everything we do. We will miss him.