Bill Richardson, a former US ambassador to the UN, passed away at the age of 75, according to his foundation. He gained respect while working for President Bill Clinton for his dedication to securing the release of American nationals held abroad.
In order to discuss the release of imprisoned basketball player Britney Griner, he traveled to Moscow last year to continue his job outside of politics. Mr. Richardson was praised by Mr. Clinton as a “masterful” negotiator.
Whether acting in an official or unofficial position, he was a skilled and tenacious negotiator who improved global security and secured the release of several people who were being detained against their will overseas.
Mr. Richardson, who was born in 1947 in Pasadena, California, to a mother of Spanish descent and a father from Nicaragua, spent his early years in Mexico City before going to boarding school in Massachusetts.
He received a master’s degree in 1971 after leaving Tufts University in 1970. Soon after, he began a political career that would see him hold important national and state-level roles. He was chosen to represent New Mexico’s Third District in the US House in 1983.
Decades of Diplomatic Mastery
His expertise in diplomatic discussions during the course of the following five decades in politics led President Clinton to choose him as his representative to the UN in 1997. He was Mr. Clinton’s energy secretary the following year, staying until the conclusion of the presidency.
When he was elected governor of New Mexico in 2002, he became the only Hispanic governor of a US state. He was re-elected to a second term in 2006 by a record margin of 68% to 32%, demonstrating his continued popularity in the state.
Mr. Richardson’s tenure as governor, according to Mr. Clinton, cemented his reputation as a “trailblazer,” and his “career helped pave the path for other Latino Americans to serve at the highest levels of American government,” he said in a statement.
As a result of the resurgence of interest in politics following his election to office, he began an improbable campaign for the Democratic Party candidacy in the lead-up to the 2008 presidential election.
Despite having a significant role in Mr. Clinton’s cabinet, many Clinton supporters saw his public support for Barack Obama rather than Hilary Clinton’s withdrawal as a betrayal.