Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age to Ferrol Sams Jr Biography » Bill Richardson: 1947—: Politician Biography - Gave Up Baseball For Political Science, Began Career In Politics, Won Congressional Seat, Had Long Career In Congress

Bill Richardson: 1947—: Politician - Gave Up Baseball For Political Science

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Richardson was born on November 15, 1947, in Pasadena, California. His mother, Maria Luisa Zubiran, a homemaker, was from an upper class family from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. His father, William, was an American citizen and a high-ranking executive with Citibank in Mexico City, where Richardson grew up with his younger sister Vesta. Richardson returned to the United States as a teenager to attend Middlesex, a prep school located nearly his father's hometown of Boston. Later, as a politician seeking the working-class vote, he would downplay his socially and economically privileged upbringing.


During his high school years, Richardson was an exceptional baseball pitcher and was drafted in 1967 by the Kansas City (now Oakland) Athletics. However, to his disappointment, his father successfully convinced him that college was a better choice than a career in baseball. The following year Richardson blew out his elbow, ending any baseball prospects and making his father seem all the wiser.

Richardson majored in political science at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, his father's alma mater. After graduating in 1970 with his bachelor's degree, Richardson enrolled in Tuft's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. A field trip to the U.S. Senate set the course of his future career. He later told the New Republic, "I went to the Senate, and Hubert Humphrey gave us one of his orations. He turned me on, talking about Africa. I can still hear him bellowing, and I said, 'I want to be part of that.'"


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