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Richard Bloch

Richard BlochAKA Richard Adolf Bloch

Born: 15-Feb-1926
Birthplace: Kansas City, MO
Died: 21-Jul-2004
Location of death: Kansas City, MO
Cause of death: Heart Failure

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business, Activist
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: H&R Block, cancer activist

As a boy Richard Bloch found a hand-press in his uncle's attic, and set up a successful printing shop before reaching adolescence. He worked his way through college by buying and selling used cars, earning a degree in economics. In 1955, with his brother Henry Bloch, he founded the tax preparation firm H&R Block, where he worked for the next two decades.

Bloch is arguably better known for his work as a cancer activist. He was diagnosed with terminal lung caner in the late 1970s, and told that he had about three months to live, but with his great wealth he was able to find doctors willing to pursue radical therapies. After recovering from the cancer, he quit the tax firm and dedicated the rest of his life to helping cancer patients. He provided underwriting to develop the Physicians Data Query computer system for the National Cancer Institute, and he established the R. A. Bloch Cancer Foundation in 1980, which is best known for its all-volunteer cancer hotline service where newly-diagnosed cancer patients can get free counseling from cancer survivors. He also co-wrote three books on cancer survival with his wife, organized the first National Cancer Survivors Day in 1987, and donated the funds to build Cancer Survivors Parks in almost two dozen American cities. Later in life he survived colon cancer. He suffered a fatal heart attack in 2004.

Father: Leon Bloch (attorney)
Mother: Hortense Bloch
Wife: Annette
Daughter: Barbara Stanny
Daughter: Linda Lyon
Daughter: Nancy Linsely

    High School: Southwest High School, Kansas City, MO
    University: BS Economics, University of Pennsylvania (1945)

    United Business Company (1949-55)
    H&R Block Co-Founder (1955-78)
    R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation Founder (1980)
    US Official National Cancer Advisory Board (1982-88)
    National Cancer Survivors Day Founder (1987)
    National Institutes of Health Alternative Medicine Board
    American Society of Clinical Oncology Public Service Award (1994)
    Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
    National Cancer Institute
    Society of Surgical Oncology Layman's Award (1995)
    Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity
    Heart Attack 21-Jul-2004 (fatal)
    Risk Factors: Lung Cancer, Colon Cancer

Author of books:
Cancer… There's Hope (1981, memoir, with Annette Bloch)
Guide for Cancer Supporters : Step-by-Step Ways to Help a Relative or Friend Fight Cancer (1992, non-fiction, with Annette Bloch)
Fighting Cancer : A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Yourself Fight Cancer (1998, non-fiction, with Annette Bloch)

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