Susan Richman had a storied career in publishing—starting as a clerk typist at Charles Scribner & Sons and working her way up to Senior Vice President of the Scribner Book Companies and eventually retiring from Grand Central Publishing in 2009. She worked with bestselling authors including P.D. James, Patricia Cornwall and Alan Paton, and served as president of the Publishers Publicity Association.
But Susan’s commitment to the community was even more impressive. She got involved with Goddard Riverside in 1987 when a friend asked her to help out with our Book Fair. That very year she launched her series of Meet the Author dinners, which brought famed writers to private homes around the Upper West Side to share readings, conversation and a good meal. Over the years, those dinners raised some $3 million for Goddard’s programs. The list of authors reads like a Who’s Who—including Maya Angelou, Ron Chernow, Judy Blume, J. Anthony Lukas, Gay Talese, Kurt Vonnegut, Elizabeth Strout and Erica Jong.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the woman who launched a thousand dinner parties loved a good party herself. She was a mainstay at Goddard events, including the Gala, Book Bash and Book Fair. She served on the board for decades and was especially proud of our work fighting homelessness. She was just as charming to Goddard staffers as she was to luminaries at the Gala. We in the Development Department will always remember her coming down the long hallway to our office to chat and laugh before Board meetings.
Getting involved with Goddard “was one of the best things that ever happened to me,” she said at a cocktail party we gave in her honor in 2014. “The people who make up the Goddard Community from the staff and clients to the board, committee members, dinner hosts and volunteers have enriched my life.” She returned the favor and then some. We will miss her, and we’re grateful for her role in making Goddard what it is today.