Alf, who co-chaired the first incarnation of the San Diego event and funded its precursor, died at a hospice in La Jolla, California following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
"Richard was a tall, friendly fellow and I do not recall him ever not being in a great mood and smiling. He was something of a wunderkind," comic writer and commentator Mark Evanier wrote on his blog News From Me.
"As a teenager, he began dealing in old comic books and he was so successful that when the first San Diego Con was being assembled, Richard was able to front much of the money that was needed to launch the project."
Alf provided financial backing for the first three years of San Diego's Golden State Comic-Con, the event which went on to become Comic-Con International. He eventually became chairman of the convention before entering the comics retail business.
Fellow Comic-Con co-founders Sheldon Dorf and Ken Krueger both passed away in 2009.