Remembering Alan Richman, 1939-2019

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Alan Richman at the office of WholeFoods before his retirement in 2007.

It is with heavy hearts that we share news of the passing of longtime WholeFoods Magazine Editor-in-Chief Alan Richman. He died on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at the age of 79.

Alan was born in The Bronx in 1939. He graduated from Hunter College, where he was the editor of his college newspaper, The Arrow, then entered the Army in 1961, serving during the Berlin crisis. Alan continued to write during his time in the Army; he was the editor of the post newspaper while serving in Fr. Bragg, Fayettville, NC.

Over his long career as a journalist, Alan received awards for his business writing. He was the editor of WholeFoods from 1994 to his retirement in 2007. In retirement, he continued to write for the New Jersey Jewish News, as well as for this magazine and others.

“Alan was one of the most competent, considerate and caring individuals I ever worked with,” said Howard Wainer, president of WholeFoods.

WholeFoods publisher Heather Wainer said, “I have known Alan for a good part of my life and was honored to work with him. We all cried when he decided to retire. He worked tirelessly and made sure everyone had their voice. I learned so much from him and always considered him a part of our family. We still continued to speak once in a while and he always had a story to share. I will miss that and him, as I am sure many others will, too. He was a very kind and intelligent man who I believe will always be remembered and cherished in the natural products industry.”

Jay Jacobowitz, President & Founder of Retail Insights, recalls being honored when Richman asked him to write for WholeFoods. “It was in November of 1999, when Alan called to offer me the opportunity to write a monthly column on merchandising the natural foods retail store, and to be WholeFoods Magazine’s merchandising editor,” said Jay. “Alan’s genuine interest in the natural organic products industry is what drove the consistently high quality content of WholeFoods Magazine, making it one of the most incisive and well respected voices in the industry.”

Maggie Jaqua, current editor-in-chief of WholeFoods, added, “I am so grateful to have had Alan as a mentor. He was a gifted writer and editor, and so generous in sharing the wisdom he had gained over his long career. He was also wonderfully kind. All of us in the WholeFoods family, and those throughout the industry who had the pleasure of meeting Alan, know how truly special he was, and we will miss him.”

In addition to his work in magazines, Alan wrote several books and led poetry workshops. He also enjoyed soccer, coaching boys and girls in Marlboro Township for 30 years and serving on the soccer board.

Alan is survived by his wife of 54 years, Kelli Richman, his two sons, Lincoln and Matthew, and his four grandchildren.

More on Richman’s passing can be found here.

Howard Wainer (L) presents an award to Alan Richman, who was often recognized for his outstanding work, in 1999.

 

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