Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson dead at 75

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Bill Richardson

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Bill Richardson, the former New Mexico governor, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and Secretary of Energy under President Bill Clinton, died Saturday, according to the Richardson Center for Global Engagement. Richardson was 75.

Mickey Bergman, Vice President of the Richardson Center, commented in a statement, “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,” Bergman said.

“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.”

Richardson was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize last month in recognition of his work saving Americans, most recently WNBA player Brittney Griner.

Over the last three decades, Richardson traveled the world negotiating and securing the release of American prisoners and hostages in Bangladesh, North Korea, Sudan, Colombia, and Iraq. The nonprofit organization the Richardson Center was created to support the former governor in facilitating dialogue and global peace between countries with strained diplomatic relations.

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