December 16, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC, DECEMBER 16, 2014 – Retired Austin, Texas, radiologist Patrice K. Richardson, M.D., and several members of her family will honor her late father, E.W. “Rich” Richardson, with an eight-figure gift to The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC, the prominent think tank announced today.
The gift will be used to advance the missions of both Heritage and its sister organization, Heritage Action for America.
The gift also will help finance the purchase and renovation of a new office building and conference center – to be named the E.W. Richardson American Leadership Building – in the 200 block of Massachusetts Ave., NE, on Capitol Hill, where The Heritage Foundation has had its headquarters since the 1980s.
A long-time supporter of The Heritage Foundation, Dr. Richardson previously had established a Heritage fellowship in her father’s honor. James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Heritage's vice president of foreign and defense policy studies, serves as the E.W. Richardson Fellow.
“The principles of hard work, integrity and family values are what The Heritage Foundation is all about,” Patrice Richardson said. “And my dad believed in those principles very firmly. I believe a renewal of these values is absolutely essential to the future of our country and our society.”
Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint described Rich Richardson as “an American patriot, an American hero and an unwavering champion of freedom who gave testimony to the ideal of America as the land of opportunity – by his service to our country and living the American Dream. After serving in WWII, Rich Richardson built a small used-car dealership in Albuquerque into one of the largest auto dealership chains in the American southwest.”
Rich Ford in Albuquerque is continually ranked as one of the top 100 Ford dealerships in the country.
“But business wasn’t everything to Rich Richardson,” DeMint continued. Prior to his death in early 2003, E.W. “Rich” Richardson had been a generous supporter of many local, state and national non-profits, including the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, Loma Linda University Medical Center, and University of Nevada Medical School.
“Along the way, he also found time to help his devoted wife Barbara build a strong family and contributed generously to the communities in which his businesses were located.” DeMint added. “He loved his family; he loved his work, and he loved his country."
“This extraordinary pledge from those who loved him in return will enable The Heritage Foundation to continue his life-long efforts to make this a better country where freedom and opportunity are available to all. We are so very grateful to his daughter Patrice Richardson, his wife Barbara Richardson, his grandchildren Tyler Richardson and Ali Sharp, as well as other friends and family members who are partnering with us on this opportunity to perpetuate Rich Richardson's legacy.”
Rich Richardson was born in the small farming community of Kim in Las Animas County, Colorado, and joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 after attending Trinidad Junior College and Denver University.
As a bomber pilot and squadron commander with the 15th Air Force, he flew 43 missions before being shot down over Austria in March 1945. During his 44th mission, he was shot down, taken to a POW camp near Munich by the Nazis, and was later liberated by Gen. George Patton’s Third Army.
"He was a great man from the greatest generation. And we are forever grateful for his life and legacy. He continues to have a remarkable impact," Barbara Richardson said.
"Rich Richardson answered the call of his country to serve and defend her," said DeMint. "This gift, in Rich's honor, is also a call to action for conservatives around the country to redouble their efforts to build a society where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society will again flourish."
With more than 600,000 members and supporters nationwide, The Heritage Foundation is the most broadly supported public policy research institute in the United States.
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