Richard L. Plotkin
December 4, 1944 – September 4, 2019
Richard L. Plotkin, 74 of Scotch Plains, New Jersey passed away peacefully on September 4, 2019 surrounded by his family after a valiant fight with Leukemia.
Richard was born in Newark and was raised in Maplewood, New Jersey. He was considered a scholar athlete throughout high school, and college. He attended Columbia High School and then graduated from the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics in 1966. He played Varsity Lacrosse at University of Pennsylvania. Following graduation he went on to Georgetown University School of Law in 1969. He began a distinguished career as a commercial litigator with the law firm of Pitney, Hardin & Kipp, which later became Day Pitney LLP. Throughout his career, he was frequently cited for his contributions to the legal community of New Jersey and was recognized by several publications as Best Lawyers and New Jersey Super Lawyers.
In 2007 his grandson Max was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 4 years old. At that time, Richard quickly learned the reality of pediatric cancer. In 2008, he retired from the practice of law and co-founded, the Max Cure Foundation, a 501(c)(3) pediatric cancer foundation with his family. As the Executive Vice-Chair, he immersed himself in MCF’s mission and oversaw the day to day execution of that mission which involved funding research; financially assisting low income and military families battling cancer in their children; and advocating for children with cancer and their families.
Richard was a tireless advocate for pediatric cancer issues and over the last six years was a major driving force in helping children with cancer. Among other accomplishments, Richard was credited with having, single handedly, caused the issuance by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) of the first compassionate use waiver for a child with cancer of a combination drug therapy consisting of an experimental drug and two drugs that had already received FDA approval and were in the marketplace.
He spoke at Harvard Medical School, Texas A&M May’s Business School and has been interviewed by national news outlets. He was appointed by NYU Langone Medical Center, Bioethics Department as the national pediatric cancer representative for existing federal regulations on experimental drugs for children. He was on a panel at a New York Academy of Science Colloquium and has been consulted by Congress on proposed legislation dealing with expanded access/compassionate use.
Richard was credited with playing a major role in the passage of the 2012 Creating Hope Act which incentivizes pharmaceutical companies to invest in developing drugs for children with rare diseases.
Richard’s efforts to save the lives of children battling cancer has been the subject of many articles in leading publications. He was also appointed to a committee under Obama Administration to further advancing efforts to help the cause of childhood cancer.
Richard was also a successful businessman and real estate investor.
Richard was predeceased by his parents, Maxwell and Madeline. He is survived by his loving wife Mary Patricia Keefe, his beloved children Geralyn Kerven (Elliott), David Plotkin (Annemarie) and Matthew (Amanda) step-daughters, Meghan Jacobson (Keith) and Melissa Tirone. He was the adored grandfather of Maxwell, Alexis, Alexander, Mitchell, Chase, Ella, Samantha, Blake, Harper, Liv and Grace.
The funeral service will be held at Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston on Sunday, September 8th at 2:00 p.m. with burial following at the B’nai Abraham Memorial Park in Union. Contributions Richard’s memory may be made to the Max Cure Foundation, www.maxcure.org.
- Max Cure Foundation
- Funeral Service Sunday, September 8, 2019
- Burial Sunday, September 8, 2019
Richard L. Plotkin
September 7, 2019
May Richard Rest In Eternal Peace, and may his family find solace during this time of mourning in the memories and love they share of both the man and his life.
September 6, 2019
I was saddened to learn of Richard’s passing. He was a beautiful person with a kind heart. I worked with Richard at PHK&S for many years. He was great to work with and always made it enjoyable.
Please accept my sincere condolences on
September 6, 2019
I was honored to get to know him over the past five years. He was an untiring advocate for children, willing to do whatever was needed to get the right thing done for them and a man who, I quickly learned, loved his family very very much. We at NYU SOM will keep being inspired by his vision and his character.