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Richard became a Baha'i on 21 March 1966 in Lincoln, Nebraska. A week after attending his first Baha'i fireside he had an epiphany upon seeing a picture of the Shrine of The Bab and declared. He has served on the Local Spiritual Assembly of Lincoln, Nebraska and Amherst, Massachusetts, lived on the Winnebago and Santee Sioux Indian Reservations, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, earning a Masters Degree in teacher training and a Specialists Degree in Educational Administration; as well as the University of Nebraska, where he earned a Bachelors Degree with a double major in English and Science.