Richard J Stephenson is the founder of Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). He has been Chairman of the Board since the company’s inception in 1988.
A graduate of Northwestern University Law School, Stephenson started out as an investment banker. In 1966 he became a trustee of Americans Building Constitutionally, an organization that helped wealthy individuals set up not-for-profit corporations and personal trusts to avoid paying federal income and inheritance taxes.
In 1969, a California state court found the group's top official and six others guilty of grand theft or conspiring to commit grand theft. Stephenson had pleaded no contest to false advertising, a misdemeanor, and testified for the state, according to media reports at the time.
Stephenson ventured into healthcare in 1975, when he and partners bought Zion-Benton Hospital in Zion, Illinois, renaming it American International Hospital. By the late 1980s, American International was facing financial problems and its "reputation had been severely damaged" by local press reports about its use of unproven cancer treatments, according to a 2004 court opinion on a successful petition by a former CTCA president seeking an increased valuation for his share of the company.
In 1988, Stephenson founded CTCA.