WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Following is a statement from National Press Club President Eileen O’Reilly on the passing of Bill Richardson whose long career in public service included significant time spent working for the release of hostages including journalists.
“We were deeply saddened by the news of the death of former New Mexico Governor and Congressman Bill Richardson. Our hearts go out to his family and the people of New Mexico.
Richardson was known for being responsive to journalists and transparent to his constituents as all public figures should be, Richardson visited the Press Club on many occasions, speaking on Dec. 9, 1992, March 2, 1999 and Jan. 13, 2023.
After he left government service, Richardson formed a center dedicated to helping obtain the release of Americans held hostage abroad – including journalists. In November of 2021, Richardson brought home journalist Danny Fenster from Myanmar where he had been held in unjust detention.
Throughout his career as a hostage negotiator Richardson would reportedly sometimes step outside the box of what the government was able to do, which can make a difference in hostage negotiations.
Debra Tice, the mother of Austin Tice, a journalist held in Syria for more than 11 years said: ‘Bill Richardson was one of the most sincere people I have met since Austin’s detention in Syria. The only consolation is that he died peacefully in his sleep. One less very good man walking the earth with us. May he rest in peace.'”
Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. With 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization, the Club is a leading voice for press freedom worldwide.
Contact: Bill McCarren, 202-662-7534 for the National Press Club
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SOURCE National Press Club