Tribute Honoring UIF Founder Dr. Richard Caruso

Devon, PA- August 12, 2022- It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our Founder Dr. Richard Caruso on August 12, 2022.

Dr. Richard E. Caruso (1943-2022)

Executive, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist

Richard Ernest Caruso Ph.D., died peacefully after a long courageous battle with dementia at the age of 79 on August 12, 2022 surrounded by family and friends. 

Richard was born on May 12, 1943 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The son of Italian immigrants, Richard dedicated his life to family, the pursuit of innovation, and the creation of opportunities for others through mentoring.  His life story– from humble beginning to the heights of success in business– exemplifies the American Dream that is rooted in ingenuity, persistence, and hard work. Mentored by family, teachers, coaches, business associates and others throughout his life, Richard’s leadership and athletic prowess garnered him a football scholarship to Susquehanna University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. He went on to earn a Master’s Degree from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics where he developed and refined his groundbreaking theories of mentoring. 

Dr. Caruso was an innovative entrepreneur and visionary that built successful organizations by bringing together talented people that shared his passion for innovation. Richard started his career as a CPA at Price Waterhouse & Co in Philadelphia. Not content with the role of auditor, Richard joined Lease Financing Corporation (LFC) where he quickly rose to Executive Vice President and Director. Caruso transformed the fledgling finance business into an international conglomerate with subsidiaries throughout the world. In 1978, Richard created the Provco Group, a Villanova-based real estate and venture finance organization. In 1989, having achieved great financial success, he wanted to do more to help others and save lives. He founded and successfully launched Integra LifeSciences, a company that pioneered regenerative medicine. Today Integra is a NASDAQ-listed global leader in the medical device industry that employs nearly four thousand people in offices around the world.

In 1986, Dr. Caruso enlisted Dr. John Crosby, former Superintendent of Radnor Schools, to create a foundation devoted to mentoring– The Uncommon Individual Foundation (UIF). Dr. Caruso saw the correlation between his success and the mentoring he received all throughout his life and wanted to help others achieve similar results. Today, UIF serves thousands of students, educators, and start-up companies each year with mentoring programs that focus on college access, entrepreneurship, media, and technology. It was Dr. Caruso’s wish that all people have the benefit of mentoring so they could become the “the entrepreneur of their own life.”  Dr. Caruso garnered many accolades throughout his life, including the National Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006 and represented the United States in the International Ernst & Young Competition. In 2015, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) honored Dr. Caruso with the Special Achievement Award in Business and Health.

For all of his successes, Richard’s true legacy is one of quietly helping others to achieve happiness and fulfillment.