Bill Richardson

State Governor
Date Of Birth:
15 November 1947
Place Of Birth:
Pasadena, California
Best Known As:
The governor of New Mexico, 2003-2011

William Blaine "Bill" Richardson III was governor of New Mexico from 2003 to 2011. Bill Richardson was born in California but raised mostly in Mexico City. He received his bachelor's (1970) and master's (1971) degrees from Tufts University, then worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. By the end of the 1970s he was a New Mexico resident with political ambitions, and in 1982 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served until 1997. During the administration of President Bill Clinton he served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (1997-98) and as Secretary of Energy (1998-2001). After Clinton's term ended, Richardson lectured, served on corporate boards and worked as a consultant with Kissinger McLarty Associates (headed by Henry Kissinger and former Clinton chief of staff Thomas McLarty). As governor of New Mexico, Richardson became a national figure in the Democratic party and was one of the most prominent Hispanic politicians in the U.S. (his mother is Mexican). Richardson ran unsuccessfully for president in 2008. That December he was chosen by president-elect Barack Obama to become Secretary of Commerce, but Richardson withdrew his name early in 2009, saying that his administration was being investigated in relation to a company that had done business with New Mexico, and that the investigation would have delayed his confirmation by the U.S. Senate. After two terms as New Mexico's governor, he was succeeded by Susana Martinez.

Extra Credit

Bill Richardson presided over the marriage of actors Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart on 15 June 2010; the couple were married at the New Mexico governor’s mansion… After leaving the Clinton administration, Bill Richardson served on a number of corporate boards, including that of San Diego’s Peregrine Systems (2001-02). The company was led by his wife’s brother-in-law, Stephen Gardner. While Richardson was on the board, Peregrine executives covered up accounting fraud that led to the company’s bankruptcy as well as criminal charges against Gardner. Richardson was not charged with wrongdoing… Bill Richardson married the former Barbara Flavin in 1972. They have no children.

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