DECEMBER 22, 1919


Born in Honolulu, of Native Hawaiian ancestry, Richardson graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa before earning his law degree from the University of Cincinnati.  In World War II, he was a US Army platoon leader with the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment, and was later inducted into the Infantry Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.  After the war, Richardson became Chief Clerk for the Senate of the Territory of Hawai’i.  He chaired that state’s Democratic Party from 1956 to 1962 and was a delegate to the 1956 and 1960 National Conventions.  In 1962, Richardson was elected Lieutenant Governor of Hawai’i.  At the end of his term, he was nominated and confirmed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawai’i and served in that capacity from 1966 to 1982.  After retiring from that position, he served as a trustee of the Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate from 1983 to 1992.  The state’s only law school was renamed The William S. Richardson School of Law in his honor.  He died in Honolulu, on June 21, 2010.

Source:  “About William S. Richardson,” University of Hawai’i at Mānoa,William S. Richardson School of Law.  Retrieved 7/23/2019,
Photo:  Coolcaesar, 5/25/2019.  Aliʻiōlani Hale, the building where the Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court meets.  Permissive use under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International,

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