Eugene Eidenberg, a former White House advisor to President Jimmy Carter, passed away on Tuesday of glioblastoma. In addition to his work in the public service sector, Eidenberg had served as a principal in the San Francisco-based VC firm Hambrecht & Quist. He also worked at Granite Venture Associates, a venture fund. Eidenberg was 74.
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Eugene Eidenberg, who had distinguished careers in public service, academia, business and philanthropy, died of glioblastoma on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California. He was 74.
Mr. Eidenberg, who served as an advisor to President Jimmy Carter, played a pivotal role in remaking the American telecommunications industry and later was significantly involved in Silicon Valley venture capital and high tech businesses.
Born in New York City, he was a high school All-American swimmer earning a college scholarship to the University of Minnesota. Mr. Eidenberg earned Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University and later taught political science at the University of Minnesota.
Mr. Eidenberg left his academic career in 1977 to join President Carter’s administration, ultimately serving on the President’s Senior White House Staff, reporting directly to the President. Mr. Eidenberg then joined the Democratic National Committee, serving as its director for two years.
The former President said in learning of Mr. Eidenberg’s passing: “Gene was a delightful and cherished friend and a superbly competent and dedicated public servant. Rosalynn and I will be… comforted by memories of the times we spent with Gene.”
Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State and now chairman of the National Democratic Institute added, “Gene loved politics. He did not disparage the practice of politics; rather, he embraced political action as an avenue to represent the views of ordinary citizens and respond to their concerns, hopes and aspirations with tangible results.”
In 1982, Mr. Eidenberg moved to MCI Communications, where he served in several senior management positions, including Senior Vice President for Regulatory and Public Policy as well as President of MCI’s Pacific Division in San Francisco and Executive Vice President and Group Executive for MCI’s International Business Operations.
After MCI, Mr. Eidenberg became President and CEO of Macrovision Corporation, was a Principal in the San Francisco-based venture capital firm of Hambrecht & Quist and joined Granite Venture Associates LLC, a venture capital fund.
In recent years, Mr. Eidenberg helped create the first renewable energy company on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Pacific Power and Light. He also served as treasurer and member of the National Democratic Institute, whose president Ken Wollack said, “Gene brought his intellect, integrity and passion for democratic politics to the NDI…he was…instrumental in the growth and development of the Institute and its programs around the world.”
Mr. Eidenberg was married to Susan Zox, with whom he had two daughters, Danielle and Elizabeth. He later married Angenette Martin Angenette who succumbed to breast cancer. In 1999, Mr. Eidenberg married former San Francisco news anchor and broadcast journalist Anna Chavez. In addition to Ms. Chavez, he is survived by his sister, Dorothea Ellern; his brother, David Eidenberg; his daughters, Danielle Eidenberg-Noppe and Elizabeth Cazenave and their families.
A private memorial service is planned. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances be sent to:
THE UCLA BRAIN CANCER RESEARCH FUND
C/O Timothy Frances Cloughesy, MD,
710 Westwood Plaza, Suite 1-230
Los Angeles, CA 90095
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
455 Massachusetts Ave., NW, 8th Floor