Los Angeles, CA (February 10, 2006)–Motion picture and television veteran, Richard J. Stumpf, passed away on February 2. He was 79. In 1998, Stumpf retired after 29 years with Universal Studios where he was senior vice president of engineering and development. Prior to that he was director of sound and electronics, managing the sound department for 14 years. He was co-inventor on two patents while at Universal.
Early in his career, Stumpf was at NBC for 10 years and for seven years was with RCA specializing in television engineering. Between these assignments he was in aerospace for three years working on the first man in space program, Project Mercury. Stumpf was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1970. He served on the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee for 23 years, its Science and Technology Council since its founding, and chaired the Council’s Technology History Subcommittee.
He was recognized with two Academy Awards for technical contributions and the Academy Medal of Commendation in 1992.
Stumpf was a Life Fellow member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and served in many capacities including five terms on the Board of Governors. From 1984 to 1991 he co-chaired the High Definition SMPTE Working Group that wrote the 1125/60 production standard. He received the Samuel L. Warner Memorial Medal Award in 1986 and the SMPTE Presidential Proclamation award in 1997. In 1998 he received the NATO Lifetime Achievement Award.
He served as CTO Emeritus of the Entertainment Technology Center at USC.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Paula, sons Derrick and Andrew, daughters Elisabeth and Barbara, and their families including six grandchildren.
Funeral Services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 11, at St. Mel Church, 20870 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants.