HomeTop StoriesFormer New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson dies at age 75

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson dies at age 75


Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, a longtime Democratic politician who has served as Secretary of Energy and United Nations ambassador under the Clinton administration, has passed away Friday, the Richardson Center for Global Engagement said in a statement. . He was 75.

Richardson died in his sleep at his summer home in Massachusetts.

“He has served others throughout his life – including his time in government and his subsequent career helping to free people held hostage or wrongly held abroad. There was not a person that Governor Richardson would not speak to if it included a promise to return someone to freedom,” Mickey Bergman, vice president of the Richardson Center, said in a statement.

“The world has lost a champion to those wrongfully detained abroad, and I have lost a mentor and a dear friend.”

“He was a good friend,” President Joe Biden said of Richardson, whose death he called “disappointing.”

Richardson began his political career in earnest as an aide to then-Massachusetts Representative Frank Bradford Morse before becoming a staff member of the U.S. State Department and Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 1970s.

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He was first elected to the U.S. House in 1983, representing New Mexico’s Third District. Richardson later served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Secretary of Energy before being elected Governor of New Mexico in 2002. He served two terms before leaving office in 2011.

After a failed bid for the presidency in 2008, Richardson launched the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, a non-profit organization that promotes international peace, in 2011.

Richardson and his eponymous center had privately worked on behalf of families of hostages and detainees abroad. He traveled to Moscow last year and held meetings with Russian leaders to discuss the release of basketball star Brittney Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan.

US Presidential Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens offered his condolences on Saturday in a post on Xformerly known as Twitter.

“My sincerest condolences to the family of Governor Bill Richardson and to Mickey Bergman and the team at the Richardson Center for Global Engagement,” Carstens said, posting a photo of the two accompanying his statement.

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Carstens and Richardson worked together on hostage rescue efforts, including those associated with the capture of Griner and Whelan.

“On behalf of the countless families who have helped Governor Richardson and his Center, I wanted to express our deep sense of loss at his passing,” Neda Sharghi, chair of the Bring Our Families Home Campaign, said in a statement Saturday. “Governor Richardson has been a strong advocate for human rights and efforts to bring home people wrongfully detained abroad.”

New Mexico Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich said in a. “Richardson’s legacy will have a lasting impact.” statement about X.

“Government. Richardson believed that New Mexico could do great things. His ambition for our state meant that he never accepted mediocrity and always pushed us to fight for the future we deserved. I was privileged to serve in his government and will be forever grateful for all he taught me,” Heinrich wrote.

Richardson was born in 1947 in Pasadena, California. He grew up in Mexico City, Mexico, and left for boarding school in Massachusetts in 1960.

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He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and French from Tufts University in 1970 and a master’s degree from Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1971.

He married Barbara Richardson in 1972 and had a daughter.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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