Like many New Yorkers, Richard has humble roots. His family came to New York City as immigrants. His grandparents worked in retail in Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Richard’s father was a Brooklyn boy, who played on his New Utrecht High School basketball team, and worked in a knitting mill. He served in the Army and later required a wheelchair, as his multiple sclerosis progressed.
Richard’s mother is a Bronx girl, who was named Miss Southern Boulevard in a 1950’s contest. She worked as a secretary until retirement, and moved to an independent living facility in Forest Hills to recover after cancer surgery.
Richard’s parents met in the Catskills, married, rented an apartment in the Bronx, and opened a small retail shoe store on Lydig Avenue near the train on White Plains Road.
Growing up in the Bronx, Richard received a great early start from enrichment programs at PS 105 and JHS 127, the bookmobile and the library. He helped as a crossing guard. He played classic New York street games like stickball, handball, boxes, and ringolevio.
Richard delivered newspapers in high school, and worked his way through college, as a psychology research assistant, bartender, and director of the Syosset High School musical theater program for three summers.
He graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Psychology and Social Relations (Harvard Scholar). His honors thesis research to improve perceptions and treatment of children with disabilities was published in a journal and widely cited.
Richard earned his J.D. from the New York University School of Law, and was awarded an American Jurisprudence Prize for Constitutional Law.
After law school, he moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn, where he served as a law clerk to federal Judge Edward R. Korman (Eastern District of New York).
He worked as an associate for large Manhattan law firms, and has been a partner at the Becker, Glynn firm in Manhattan since 1998.
Richard lives in Park Slope with his wife, Audrey, a gynecologist, their two teenagers and a dog. They have a 17-year-old car and Citibike memberships. They are longtime members of their local Jewish congregation. Their son is entering college, and their daughter attends public school in Manhattan.
In 1999, Richard joined Brooklyn Community Board 6 to serve the city he loves, and to fight for the future of the people of Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook, Columbia Street, and Gowanus.
In 2001, Mayor de Blasio was elected to the City Council, and he recommended Richard for reappointment each of the 4 times he could, for a total of 8 years.
Since 2004, Richard has coached boys’ and girls’ sports. He plays in a basketball league, runs in Prospect Park, and works out at the Prospect Park YMCA (earlier than the Mayor, traveling by foot or bicycle). He enjoys playing guitar, singing, and music.