John Kimball Dietrich


Died January 22, 2015,Los Angeles, CA

College: Trumbull

August 1, 1939 – January 22, 2015 John Kimball (Kim) Dietrich passed away on January 22 after a brief illness. An expert in banking and financial intermediation, Kim enjoyed a rich academic career as a professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business for 35 years. Kim will be deeply missed by his wife of 23 years, Judith Blumenthal, who is also a USC Marshall School Professor; his children, Lucas T. Dietrich of London, England, and Jessica Shaw Dietrich of Canberra, Australia; and his grandchildren-Emile, Mason, Avery, Harper, and Eliot. An avid world traveler, Kim was an aficionado of classical music and modern art and architecture. Those who knew Kim relished his intelligence, boundless curiosity, and wide-ranging knowledge-and loved him for his generous, caring nature. He was a kind man with a genuine interest in the lives and ideas of others. And no one who knew Kim will forget his sense of humor. Whether through a mischievous quip or a droll tale that convulsed a room with laughter, Kim’s signature wit always revealed his original turn of mind and his sheer love and enjoyment of life. An alumnus of Yale University (A.B. History), the University of Chicago (M.A. Economics), and the University of Michigan (Ph.D. Economics), Kim published numerous journal articles, and authored or edited four books, including the innovative Financial Services and Financial Institutions: Value Creation in Theory and Practice. His 2000 essay in China’s Financial Markets Reform: Problems, Progress and Prospects established his expertise in China’s emerging economy. Kim served as a consultant and advisor to numerous organizations, including the U.S. Treasury, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, and the APEC Business Advisory Council, dedicated to improving living standards through trade and investment policies. His service on the Board of Directors of the USC Credit Union was pivotal to its strong performance. As gratifying to Kim as any of these achievements was the network he maintained of former students he had inspired. Kim was predeceased by his brothers C. Markham and G. Philip Dietrich. In addition to his wife, children, and grandchildren, Kim is survived by his brother J. Stephen Dietrich; former wife, Jane Dietrich; daughter-in-law Phyllis Richardson; son-in-law Paul Burton; sisters-in-law Eileen Blumenthal and Bonnie E. Lieberman; and many nieces and nephews. Plans for a memorial celebration of Kim’s life are pending. Those wishing to honor Kim’s memory may donate to the USC John Kimball Dietrich Memorial Scholarship, USC Credit Union, Attn: Gary Perez, 3720 South Flower St, L.A., CA 90089.

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 1, 2015