Bill Richardson Fast Facts

Here’s a look at the life of Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico.


Birth date: November 15, 1947
Birth place: Pasadena, California
    Birth name: William Blaine Richardson III
    Father: William Blaine Richardson Jr., executive with Citibank
    Mother: Maria Luisa (Lopez-Collada) Richardson
    Marriage: Barbara (Flavin) Richardson (1972-present)
    Education: Tufts University, B.A., 1970; Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, M.A., 1971
    Religion: Roman Catholic

    Other Facts

    Grew up in Mexico City, Mexico until 1960, when he left to attend boarding school in Massachusetts.
    Has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times.
    Has helped negotiate the release of hostages, American troops, and political prisoners in North Korea, Cuba, Sudan and Iraq.


    1971-1973 – Aide to US House Representative Frank Bradford Morse (R-Massachusetts).
    1974-1976 – US State Department staff member.
    1976-1978 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff member.
    1978-1982 – President of Richardson Trade Group, a consulting business.
    1980 – Runs unsuccessfully for the US House of Representatives, losing narrowly to incumbent Manuel Lujan Jr.
    1997-1998 – US ambassador to the United Nations.
    1998-2001 – US secretary of energy.
    November 5, 2002 – Elected governor of New Mexico.
    January 1, 2003-January 1, 2011 – Governor of New Mexico.
    2004 – Chairman of the Democratic National Convention.
    2005 and 2006 – Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.
    November 2005 – Richardson’s memoir “Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life” is published.
    November 7, 2006 – Reelected governor of New Mexico, defeating Republican John Dendahl.
    January 22, 2007 – Files a statement of candidacy with the FEC to run for president.
    April 2007 – Spends four days in North Korea securing the remains of six US troops missing since the Korean War.
    May 21, 2007 – Officially announces his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
    January 10, 2008 – Drops out of the 2008 presidential race.
    August 28, 2008 – Addresses the Democratic National Convention.
    December 3, 2008 – President-elect Barack Obama names Richardson as his choice for secretary of commerce.
    January 4, 2009 – Announces that he is withdrawing his nomination as secretary of commerce, citing a pending federal investigation.
    December 16, 2010 – Arrives in North Korea for a four-day visit to help ease tensions in the region.
    2011 – Establishes the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, a non-profit promoting international peace.
    January 2011 – Richardson is named Special Envoy for the Organization of American States.
    September 7-14, 2011 – Richardson visits Cuba on a private mission to win the release of jailed American contractor Alan Gross. He is unsuccessful.
    October 2013 – Richardson’s book “How to Sweet-Talk a Shark: Strategies and Stories from a Master Negotiator” is published.
    January 7-10, 2013 – Richardson travels to North Korea with the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, on what is described as a humanitarian mission.
      January 24, 2018 – Resigns from the Advisory Board on Rakhine State, an international board tasked with addressing the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. In a scathing statement, Richardson accuses Aung San Suu Kyi — Myanmar’s de facto leader, who he’s known for decades — of lacking “moral leadership.”




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