Richard died Jan. 24, 2022, in Winston-Salem, N.C., following a COVID infection. He was 93.

Born in 1928, Richard earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1950 and a Ph.D. in history from Princeton in 1955.

In 1957, he joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty and was eventually named the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History. 

Richard was the founding director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and co-executive officer of the American Philosophical Society. He spearheaded the publication of Pennsylvania founder William Penn’s papers during the state’s tercentenary.

His publications included Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624–1713, which first appeared in 1972 and was republished in 2000. Richard was also the author of A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia (2014), a painstaking reconstruction of the individual and collective experiences of three generations of enslaved people on the sugar estates of Mesopotamia in Jamaica and Mount Airy in Tidewater Virginia. 

Predeceased by his wife, Mary, Richard is survived by his daughters, Rebecca and Cecilia; and grandchildren Cady, Benjamin and Frederic. 

Graduate alumni memorials are prepared by the APGA.

Graduate Class of 1955