Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
October 6, 2020
Contact Info: 
Annaliese Davis 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the passing of Ambassador Richard Schifter on Sunday:

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Amb. Richard Schifter, a warrior for peace and human rights throughout his life and a dedicated public servant.  Dick and I worked closely together for over forty years to implement the principles of the Helsinki Final Act protecting human rights and to defend and support the security of the State of Israel.  A refugee who escaped the Holocaust as a teenager while the rest of his family were killed, Dick understood on a deeply personal level why safeguarding human rights and standing up for justice are so vital and must always be among America’s chief interests. 
“After escaping Nazism, Dick came to America at the age of fifteen and later served in the U.S. Army in the effort to defeat fascism.  He landed at Normandy and braved the Battle of the Bulge.  Later, as an attorney, he represented Native American tribes seeking justice from the federal government before serving as U.S. Representative to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.  As Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights under Presidents Reagan and Bush at the end of the Cold War, Dick was front and center in the effort to promote democracy and human rights in the nations newly freed from communism.  In his later years, Dick personally led a campaign to hold member states accountable for anti-Israel votes in the United Nations, working successfully to flip votes on key resolutions and help promote fairer treatment of the Jewish state in the U.N. General Assembly.  Dick’s legacy will be one of principle, vision, steadfastness, and a commitment to justice.  
“My thoughts are with Dick’s surviving children Judith, Deborah, Richard, and Karen, with their families, including his ten grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.  May his memory be a blessing to all who follow in his footsteps ensuring that America never wavers in its global commitment to human rights around the world.”