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Obituaries » Michael Leslie Stroud

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Michael Leslie Stroud

July 2, 1959 - March 2, 2022

Services Date March 7, 2022

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If one man packed several lifetimes into one and made a difference in the world, it was Michael Stroud, who died March 2 at age 62. A Chinese scholar who learned to speak Mandarin fluently in Taiwan, Michael had a long career in journalism, followed by becoming CEO of an entertainment conference business, and then, in his mid-50s, switching gears and beginning a new chapter as a licensed marriage and family therapist. That choice culminated in a highly coveted position at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA as a family therapist working with dual diagnosis disorders. Add to this, becoming a beloved meditation teacher at InsightLA, a popular mindfulness meditation center.

As a clinician, Michael had a magical combination of knowledge, innate skills and life experiences that he could channel into the service of those clients he served, said James Rosser, Michael’s colleague at UCLA and a fellow meditation teacher. Each client valued his presence and his compassion. He changed the lives of so many. In fact, every life he touched, be it client or staff, was changed, and always for the better.

Born on July 2, 1959 in Palo Alto, CA, Michael was the youngest of four children of Vernon and Flora Stroud. Initially contemplating a career in medicine at UC San Diego, Michael soon discovered a passion for Chinese language and history, graduating with a B.A. in Chinese Studies from UC Berkeley in 1981. He spent several years in Taiwan studying Chinese Zen and then 20 years as a journalist, beginning as a freelance foreign correspondent, followed by a stint as reporter for Bloomberg (1993-1999) and Investor’s Business Daily (1986-1993), and correspondent for Wired News (1999-2004). Michael also wrote for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Wrap. He married Zahava Stroud in 1988 in Los Angeles, and raised two children together, Josh (29) and Elana (27), and their beloved dog Moony. Although he and Zahava separated in 2013, they remained on friendly terms.

In 2000, he co-founded and served as CEO of the iHollywood Forum offering conferences on entertainment industry topics. Seeking a new career beginning in 2012, Michael earned a Master’s degree in clinical psychology at Antioch University, Los Angeles. As an LMFT, he specialized in working with patients suffering from depression, bipolar and other mood disorders.

Michael had discovered a deep love for helping others as a counselor and teacher. He also took enormous pleasure and pride in his children, and in his relationship with his partner of 8 years, Frances He. Frances was thrilled that Michael could converse fluently in Mandarin not only with her but with her mother, who doesn’t speak much English.

In addition to his children, Frances, and Zahava, Michael is survived by his sister Ruth and her husband Jeff, brother David and his wife Ruth; and brother Denis and his wife Ester, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, patients, and uncounted friends and colleagues who will miss him enormously.