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Friend William Richardson

Gov. Friend William Richardson

  • January 8, 1923 - January 4, 1927
  • Republican
  • December 1, 1865
  • September 6, 1943
  • Michigan
  • San Bernardino College
  • Married Augusta F. Felder; three children


FRIEND WILLIAM RICHARDSON, who was raised a devout Quaker and legally changed his name to Friend, a Quaker greeting, was born near Ann Arbor, Michigan, on December 1, 1865. He attended San Bernardino College, and entered into the newspaper publishing business in San Bernardino and Berkeley, California. Richardson entered politics as superintendent of the State Printing Office, where he served from 1912 to 1915. He was California’s state treasurer from 1915 to 1923, and was president of the California Press Association for 39 years. On November 7, 1922, Richardson was elected governor, and on January 9, 1923, he was sworn into office. During his tenure, the Colorado River Compact was approved, oil fields in Rosecrans and Inglewood were discovered, and the new site of the University of California at Los Angeles was dedicated. The Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles was founded, improvements at Long Beach Harbor were finished, and, in 1926, California voters supported the modified federal plan, which granted counties to be used as basic units of representation in the state senate. Richardson did not receive the Republican nomination, and left office on January 4, 1927. He returned to the publishing business and served on the California State Building and Loan Commission from 1932 to 1933. He also served as California State Superintendent of Banks from 1934 to 1939. Governor Friend Richardson died on September 6, 1943.


Official Records:California State Archives

Personal Papers: California State Library: California History Section

Image source: California State Library: Governors' Gallery

Governors of California 1849-2002

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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