RICHARD SMOLEV

Obituary
  • "I just learned of Richard's passing. I am stunned. He was..."
    - Philip Pomerance
  • "i couldn't be more heart broken to learn of the passing of..."
    - donna alderman
  • "Nancy, Jeff just told me of Richard's passing. I, too, am a..."
    - Dan Greenberger
  • "Nancy, I just came across the news of Richard's passing...."
    - Jeff Greenberger
  • "I never met Mr. Smolev but my encounters were always lovely..."
    - Ginger Thomson

SMOLEV--Richard, Gifted lawyer, published author, loving husband and devoted father and grandfather. After battling ALS for more than two years, Richard Smolev passed away on January 25, 2014 at age 65. A New York State Regent Scholarship graduate of Columbia University, Richard obtained his JD from Chicago's Northwestern University Law School. He began his career as a litigator before focusing on bankruptcy law, first as an attorney at Wiseman, Smolev and Solow, then at Sachnoff and Weaver, before joining Kaye Scholer as a Founding Partner of the Chicago office in 2000. Recognized by Best Lawyers in America, and recipient of a 2011 International Law Office (ILO) Client Choice Award, Richard focused on the insolvency aspects of leveraged and operating leases, and routinely worked with Kaye Scholer's structured finance and real estate securitization practices in their financing and capital markets transactions. Richard continued working at Kaye Scholer for a year after his diagnosis, retiring at the end of 2012. But rather than give in to his disease, Richard decided to pursue his lifelong passion for creative writing full-time. He achieved literary success quickly, when, in July 2012, Academy Chicago Press published his first novel, Offerings, about a female Wall Street executive who must prove her worth by putting together an unconventional IPO for a small games maker whose most valuable, but unknown, asset may be a painting stolen from a Jewish family as they fled Austria after the Nazi invasion. His second book, In Praise of Angels, a historical novel about the Reconstruction Era, was published a year later. Richard's decision to pursue a second career as a writer, even as his illness became more debilitating, and the joy he took in his family, inspired many who knew him. Noted for his wry wit, vast intellect and pragmatic approach to complex problems, Richard lived and died on his own terms. A resident of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, he is survived by his wife Nancy Alessi, sons Michael and David, grandchildren Lily, Ella, Jake and Bode, brother Dr. James Smolev and sister Carole Smolev Landau. While no funeral services will be held, family members request that donations be made in Richard's memory to the ALS Association's Greater Philadelphia Chapter.

Published in The New York Times on Feb. 2, 2014
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