Richard was born in Durham, North Carolina, but lived most of his life in Virginia. Growing up in Chesapeake, he majored in history with a minor in religion at Bluefield College and political science at the University of Richmond Graduate School. It was at the University of Richmond that Richard studied under Larry Sabato, a visiting professor from the University of Virginia. Sabato influenced Richard to pursue a career in political campaign consulting with an emphasis in direct mail fundraising.
Upon completion of his graduate studies at the University of Richmond, Richard embarked on a series of political campaigns. These include George Bush’s 1980 campaign for the Republican nomination for President, Rep. Bob Daniel’s 1980 reelection campaign for Congress (VA-4), a one-year assignment on Capitol Hill as political aide to Rep. Daniel and John Wilkerson’s campaign for Congress (SC-5) 1982. In each campaign, Richard was involved in writing and producing direct mail fundraising.
In 1983, Richard began his career in direct mail fundraising when he joined Vienna, Virginia, based Eberle & Associates. Richard personally managed the highly successful 1984 cycle prospecting program for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and supervised direct mail prospecting for the record-breaking 1984 re-election campaign of U.S. Senator Jesse Helms. Because of his successful efforts, in 1985, he was named President of Eberle & Associates.
On August 15, 1987, Richard co-founded a direct mail creative agency, The Richard Norman Company and a list brokerage and management company, Robertson Mailing List Company. Richard has managed fundraising programs for dozens of well-known national organizations and candidates for President, U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and Governor.
In 1994, Richard took a one-year sabbatical from his Agency to design and administer the fundraising program for Lt. Col. Oliver L. North’s U.S. Senate campaign. The result was over 277,000 contributors who gave more than $24 million. The number of donors and total dollars raised set new records for political fundraising. He also served as Finance Director for former Vice President Dan Quayle’s PAC, Campaign America, and Mr. Quayle’s brief campaign for President in 1999. He again took a leave from his company in August 2010 to become National Finance Director for the Tea Party Pariots. In that role he has raised one hundred million dollars from nearly 750,000 donors throug mail, Internet, phones, direct response television and radio to advance the Tea Party movement in America. In May 2015 he became a development consultant to Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colorado where he is building a mail, online and radio national donor program.
In 2001, Richard founded Patriot Data Services, a computer service bureau catering to the direct marketing community. In 2009 Richard founded ActiveEngagement, a digital communications and fundraising agency. All of the companies are located in the Lansdowne office park located ten minutes west of Dulles International Airport.
Richard participates in a number of charitable and educational organizations. Since 1996 he has served on the Board of Directors for Youth for Tomorrow, a faith-based residential facility for troubled youth founded by former Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs. He also served for sixteen years as a Trustee of Bluefield College, a private liberal arts college in Bluefield, Virginia and Dominion Academy, an independent Christian K-8 school in Leesburg, Virginia. He also served on the Board and as President of ECHO (Every Citizen Has Opportunities), a United Way supported non-profit sheltered workshop for physically and mentally challenged adults in Loudoun County, Virginia. Richard and his wife, Vickie, are active participants in McLean Bible Church, Tysons Campus.
Richard is a founding member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Board of Governors for the Virginia Institute for Public Policy. He is a member of the Executive Board of the American Association of Political Consultants. Richard and Vickie are also members of the Council for National Policy.
Related to his career in the field of direct response marketing, Richard is a member of the Direct Marketing Association and the Direct Marketing Association of Washington. He frequently lectures on direct mail fundraising at The Leadership Institute and was a member of the faculty of The International School of Fundraising at Wellington College near London, England. He has participated in democracy building as a guest lecturer for The International Republican Institute school in Accra, Ghana. He has taught fundraising for local Tea Party groups in numerous states across the nation.
Richard was honored by the AAPC as "Republican Fundraiser of the Year" for 2012 and was awarded the "Andrew Jackson Defender of Liberty" award by the U.S. Taxpayers Alliance. He was named a "Mover and Shaker" by Politics Magazine.
Aside from politics and direct marketing, Richard also owns The Cabins at Crabtree Falls, a rustic Blue Ridge Mountain cabin retreat on the Appalachian Train and the Blue Ridge Parkway near Lexington, Virginia.
Richard and his wife of 34 years, Vickie, reside in rural western Loudoun County, Virginia. Their son, JD, is a graduate of the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech University. He is married to Rebecca, also a graduate of Virginia Tech, in Political Science. JD and Rebecca reside, with their daughters Clara and Finley, in historic downtown Leesburg. Richard and Vickie's daughter, Beth Anne, received her Bachelor's Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and her Master's Degree from George Mason University.
When not working in the political fundraising world, Richard enjoys weight training, golf, snow skiing, road biking, swimming, surfing, travel and watching Virginia Tech Hokies football.