Bill Richardson, a former top US diplomat, died at the age of 75

Bill Richardson, former US ambassador to the UN and US ambassador to the UN, has passed away at the age of 75. Born in 1947 in Pasadena, California, Richardson was a prominent figure in US politics, serving under President Bill Clinton. He was known for his dedication to securing the release of US citizens detained around the world. Richardson's work in diplomatic negotiations led to his appointment as President Clinton's envoy to the UN in 1997. He later became Clinton's energy secretary and became the only Hispanic leader of a US state when he won the New Mexico governorship in 2002.

Richardson's success in office sparked renewed interest in national politics, and he launched a long-shot bid for the Democratic Party's nomination in the 2008 presidential election. However, his public endorsement of Barack Obama after his withdrawal was viewed as a betrayal by many Clinton supporters. After leaving the governorship in 2011, Richardson launched his non-profit foundation, the Richardson Centre for Global Engagement, where he renewed his work seeking the release of detained Americans.

Richardson was involved in efforts to release US basketball star Brittney Griner from a Russian prison in December after she was convicted of a drug offense. He also met with Russian government officials in the months prior to the release of US Marine Trevor Reed in a prisoner swap. In 2021, he helped broker a deal for the release of American journalist Danny Fenster from a Myanmar prison. He also helped secure the release of US nationals detained in North Korea and held talks with Pyongyang diplomats to calm tensions between the two Koreas.

Richardson's work dealing with autocratic regimes led to his nomination for the Nobel Peace prize several times. The Richardson Centre hailed him as a "champion for those held unjustly abroad" and praised his dedication to improving the lives of those around him. New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich said that Richardson's legacy will have a lasting impact.


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