10 Things You Didn't Know About Bill Richardson
Compiled by the U.S. News library staff
1.William Blaine Richardson was born on Nov. 15, 1947, in Pasadena, Calif. He grew up in Mexico City before moving to New England to attend boarding school (Middlesex, outside Boston), where he was a star baseball pitcher. His father, Will, was a banker, and his mother, Maria Luisa Zubiran, a secretary and homemaker.
2. He received a bachelor's degree from Tufts University in 1970 and a master's from its graduate school of international relations, the Fletcher School, in 1971.
3. Richardson was elected to the House of Representatives (representing the Third Congressional District in northern New Mexico) in 1982. He served in the House until 1997.
4. He was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 1997 to 1998. The Albuquerque Journal reported that on his first day as ambassador, he introduced himself to the translators who work during the U.N. proceedings. For one, it was "the first time in her 27-year career that an ambassador had ever spoken to her except to complain."
5. He was the secretary of energy under President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001. The president noted during the nomination process: "If there's one word that comes to mind when I think of Bill Richardson, it really is energy."
6. Richardson was elected as governor of New Mexico in 2002. During the campaign, he reportedly shook 13,392 hands in an eight-hour period, setting a world record (at one point held by Theodore Roosevelt). He was re-elected in 2006.
7. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times (1995, 1997, 2000, and 2001) for his diplomatic work and his concern for human-rights abuses. He has also helped to negotiate the release of hostages in a number of countries, including Iraq and North Korea.
8. During his career, Richardson has taught at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, the United World College in Montezuma, N.M., the University of New Mexico, and New Mexico State University.
9. His likes are said to include baseball, boxing, the Rocky movies, cigars, reading, and Chinese food. He was selected as the most valuable player in the annual congressional baseball game three times.
10. He has been married to Barbara Flavin (his high school sweetheart) since 1972.
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