Benjamin Rauch died at his home in New York City on Thursday, April 1, of complications from Multiple System Atrophy, a rare degenerative disease. He was sixty-five years old.
Born September 9, 1955, in Bryn Mawr, PA, Ben was the youngest of five children of long-time Fishers Island summer residents, R. Stewart Rauch, Jr. and Frances Brewster Rauch.
A graduate of Salisbury School class of 1973 and a 1978 graduate of Princeton University, Ben majored in Russian Studies and studied French at the University of Besancon in France, and Russian at the Leningrad State University. After college Ben began a long career in finance and executive search, working in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. He first worked at Bank of America, and in 1988, he joined Korn Ferry, the executive search firm, becoming a partner the following year. In 1990-1991, Ben spent a year as a visiting associate at Harvard University’s John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, concentrating on Japanese-Russian relations in the post- Cold War period. Ben was an avid supporter of the arts. In 1991, he joined the Board of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and over the years he headed the museum’s capital campaign and served as board president. He was a founding member of American Friends of London’s Royal Court Theatre and later served on the theater’s development board.
While living in Hong Kong Ben met journalist Margaret Scott, then an editor at the Far East Economic Review. They were married at Hong Kong City Hall in 1990. They had one daughter, Isabel Frances Mei Rauch. Similar to the ospreys he loved, Ben returned to the Island each summer. As his disease progressed, he found solace at the Parade Grounds with family, friends, and his dog, Dickens.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Ben is survived by his siblings, Eleanor Rauch Crosby, Rudolph S. Rauch, Susan P. Rauch, and Sheila Rauch Kennedy.
Interment will be private. A memorial celebrating Ben’s life will be held at a time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ben’s memory to the following institutions will be gratefully accepted:
Multiple System Atrophy www.multiplesystematrophy.org, Ground Work Project www.groundworkproject.com, Neighborhood Villages www.neighborhoodvillages.org/our-team, Fishers Island Conservancy www.ficonservancy.org, or Fishers Island Library www.filibrary.org.
Ben’s obituary published HERE in The New York Times April 11, 2021