Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, First Democrat of Latino Descent to Run For President Dies

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, the first Democrat of Latino descent to run for president of the United States, died Friday in his sleep at his summer home in Massachusetts. He was 75.

First elected to the US House in 1983, representing New Mexico, Richardson later served as US ambassador to the United Nations and U.S. Secretary of Energy before being elected governor of New Mexico in 2002. He served two terms before leaving office in 2011.

After an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2008, Richardson launched the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, a non profit promoting international peace, in 2011.

“He lived his entire life in the service of others – including both his time in government and his subsequent career helping to free people held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad. There was no person that Governor Richardson would not speak with if it held the promise of returning a person to freedom,” Mickey Bergman, vice president of the Richardson Center, said in a statement.

William Blaine Richardson II was born in 1947 in Pasadena, California. He grew up in Mexico City, Mexico, leaving to attend boarding school in Massachusetts in 1960.
He earned 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 is survived by his wife of 51 years Barbara Richardson and a daughter.

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