It is with great sadness that UCI MIND shares news about the passing of Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, founder of Frieda’s Specialty Produce and a tremendous supporter of brain research. Frieda was 96 years of age when she passed on Saturday. She was a pioneer in many powerful ways. A leader in the U.S. wholesale produce business since 1962, Frieda was the first woman to own and run her own firm. Her specialty was introducing unusual produce to the U.S. market, bringing more than 200 fruits and vegetables from around the world to America. She marketed each new product with instructions on how to prepare and overcame obstacles through her bold, creative and gritty style of communicating. She changed the way we eat.
Frieda’s connection with UCI MIND began in 2016 when she visited UCI with a group of female business leaders. She learned that an important part of Alzheimer’s research at UCI MIND relies on the willingness of people to participate in studies. Frieda asked, “Where can I sign up?” She wanted to make a difference and became a spokesperson, encouraging others to do the same. As a pioneer in this area, as well, Frieda found a way to be a part of helping end Alzheimer’s disease, including donating her own brain to further research at UCI MIND.
We join thousands of others as we celebrate the rich life and amazing contributions of Frieda Caplan.