Nina Richardson: 1944-2024

Nina Leake Richardson of Washington, D.C., died Feb. 7 at the age of 79, following a two-year battle with glioblastoma. 

The following was provided by the family to the media.

She is survived by her husband of 42 years, John Dennett Richardson, son Scott Richardson, daughter-in-law Nicole Richardson, grandsons John “Jack” Richardson and Maclean Richardson, sister Nora “Tooey” Cameron, niece Nora “Nonie” Cameron, nephew Roderick “Rory” Cameron, nephew Nicholas Richardson, niece Rachael Brewer and four great nephews and great nieces.

Nina was born in New York, N.Y., on Sept. 11, 1944, to Eugene Walter Leake, Jr. and Nora Bullitt Leake. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and attended Louisville Collegiate School before going to boarding school at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, where she graduated in 1962.

Nina moved to New York, where she studied at Parsons School of Design and began work in publishing, which included stints at Vogue Magazine and National Geographic. In 1969, Nina moved to Washington, D.C., where she would live the rest of her life. She opened a photography studio with Lisa Berg and continued taking photos for many years.

In 1981, she married John, of Providence, Rhode Island, and in 1984, they welcomed their only child Scott. Nina went back to school in her late 40s, ultimately obtaining her college degree from American University in 1997. She could be found well into her 70s auditing classes at Georgetown University and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at AU. She served as a member of the boards of the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women and the Friends of Volta Park, and spent time volunteering at a women’s prison in Maryland and making short videos for nonprofit organizations.

In 2018, Nina became “Nana” to Jack, a role that she cherished. She was able to meet and hold her second grandson Maclean, who was born in December 2023. Nina was a member of the Sulgrave Club and the Chevy Chase Club, and she was an avid golfer and fierce bridge player. Nina will be missed terribly by her family and friends throughout Washington, Kentucky, Rhode Island and elsewhere. She will be remembered for her kindness, humor, and appetite for learning and seeing the world.

A visitation will be held at Joseph Gawler’s Sons funeral home 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 22.

A memorial service will be held 10:30 a.m., Friday, Feb. 23, at Christ Church, Georgetown, followed by a reception at the Sulgrave Club. 

In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Nina may be directed to support the brain cancer research program at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center (


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