Bill Richardson, former New Mexico governor, dead at 75

September 3, 2023

The Democratic Party lost a notable former politician last week, according to Fox News

Former two-term New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson died at age 75, the report said. He also served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Under former President Bill Clinton, Richardson served as the U.S. Secretary of Energy and before that, a U.S. congressman.

Fox noted that Richardson was probably most well known for his work after politics, in which he helmed an organization called the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, whose mission was to free people detained as political prisoners or hostages in foreign nations.

Statement released

His nonprofit organization released a statement Saturday confirming the former governor's death, with a note from Mickey Bergman, vice president of the Richardson Center.

"Governor Richardson passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. 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.

It added, "There was no person that Governor Richardson would not speak with if it held the promise of returning a person to freedom. The world has lost a champion for those held unjustly abroad and I have lost a mentor and a dear friend."

"Right now our focus is on supporting his family, including his wife Barbara of over 50 years, who was with him when he passed. We will share further information as it becomes available."

Most recently, Richardson was involved in the freeing of WNBA star Brittney Griner.

Prior to Griner's release, he was involved in helping to free "American journalist Danny Fenster from a Burmese prison in November."

Tributes pour in

Richardson received praise and remembrance from all corners of the political world, including from 2024 GOP presidential candidate Niki Haley, who also served as a UN Ambassador.

"We lost an ambassador for freedom with the passing of Bill Richardson. He was relentless in his quest to free American citizens and members of our military imprisoned by hostile countries. His selfless advocacy was a blessing for many American families. He will be missed," Haley tweeted.

"In his post-government career, he was trusted to handle some of the most sensitive diplomatic crises, and he did so with great success. Here in New Mexico, we will always remember him as our Governor. He never stopped fighting for the state he called home," Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) said.

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