Richard S. Rogoff

From Lee Gailard:

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Richard S. Rogoff, BZ 1961. He was one of my very closest friends.

Dick was born in Brooklyn NY on May 27, 1939. Having prepared at Brooklyn Technical High School, he came to Yale and majored in a combination of electrical engineering and astronomy. A resident of Timothy Dwight, he was a member of Berzelius, Aurelian, W1YU, AIEE-IRE, Hillel, and Secretary of the Astronomy Club. From his freshman year had been involved in a special radio astronomy project during which he had studied radio emanations from Jupiter. He graduated Tau Beta Pi in 1961 and went on to MIT to earn his master’s degree in mechanical engineering. During that time, he told me he had done some work on the guidance system for the Apollo moon rocket. Recruited by the CIA, he was put in charge of a rocket sounding station at Thule, Greenland–sampling the upper atmosphere after Russian H-bomb tests over the Arctic Ocean and Nova Zemlya. Then, first flying a specially equipped F-102 and later a Mach 2 F-106, he captured fission/fusion explosion particle remnants in real time, flying them back to base for instant analysis.

After leaving the CIA in 1966, he worked at Philco-Ford in their electronics division…where he met his wife of more than 50 years, Christine. They married in 1967 and had two children: Jason Paul Rogoff (1972) and Jennifer Lee Rogoff (1973). During a fateful luncheon in New York City, Dick was persuaded by fellow BZ delegate Dave Karetsky to join him in the world of financial investment at Goldman Sachs. And that is what Dick did for the next 33 years. During that time, he helped establish their London office, and finished as a Vice President and in charge of the Dallas office.

Dick gave of himself in so many ways to a number of worthy causes, but I must mention the one that meant the most to me personally. Soon after I had become Head of Upper School at the Hockaday School in Dallas, I asked Dick if he would let me submit his name to the membership committee of the Board of Trustees. He said he would be more than happy to serve if invited to join the Board. He was appointed a trustee, was then elected to Life Trustee, and served for more than 40 years. Under his guidance as chair of their Finance Committee, the school’s endowment expanded by a factor of more than thirty to an amount rarely seen in girls’ schools. During my 15 years at Hockaday, I may have taught hundreds of students, been Chair of the English Department, and served as Head of Upper School…but the most significant thing I ever did for the school was to nominate Dick to the Board of Trustees.

Six or seven years ago, Dick had a relatively mild stroke. But, over time, its aftereffects began to make themselves felt. And on June 10 of this year, he suffered a major stroke that was to prove fatal. Dick died on Thursday, June 15, 2023. He is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Christine; by his son, Jason; by his daughter, Jennifer; and by grandchildren, Sophie, Lilly, and Blake. As his daughter Jenny told me, charity was a cornerstone of Dick’s life. For anyone is considering a donation in his memory, these two institutions stood high in his regard:

The Brookwood Community
1752 FM 1489
Brookshire, TX 77423

50 Glenville Street
Greenwich, CT 06831

With deep regret, Lee Gaillard ‘61

(There is also an obituary at the Goldman Sachs Alumni Network