Gary Richardson was born in Caddo, Oklahoma. The son of a cotton sharecropper, Gary’s family soon moved to Rio Hondo, Texas when he was 9 years old. He attended and graduated from Rio Hondo High School in 1959. Growing up in a small town, Gary had to push himself to accomplish his goals. Gary wanted to play tennis in High School, but Rio Hondo didn't have a tennis team. With no car, and the closest school with a Varsity tennis team was 8 miles away, Gary could have easily given up on playing tennis. Gary refused to take "no" for an answer and hitched a ride to San Benito every day to play tennis. His work paid off when he made State his junior and senior year of High School without ever having a coach other than what he learned standing on the sidelines in San Benito watching and listening to the San Benito tennis coach.
Gary continued this tenacity and drive when he attended Bethany Nazarene College, now known as Southern Nazarene University, (SNU) in Bethany, OK, not only playing on the varsity BB team where he started as a sophomore but also playing on the college tennis team. In fact, he was recognized as an "Outstanding Graduate" of Bethany Nazarene College in 1972.
After SNU, Gary worked in the insurance industry before earning his law degree at South Texas College of Law night school and began his law career in Oklahoma in the early 7O's where he served as Assistant Insurance Commissioner and worked on the legal team. Gary later moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma and served as an Assistant District Attorney.
In the late 1970's Gary was being encouraged to run for Congress in eastern Oklahoma. When he seriously began to consider a run, Gary met with both Democrat and Republican leaders in Congress. While a lifelong Democrat, Gary realized that he aligned more with Republican values than Democrat values. He changed parties and ran as a Republican for the 2nd Congressional District in 1978 and 1980.
Despite being in an overwhelmingly Democrat district, Gary made both races competitive. While, in the end, Gary did not win, he was the first Republican Congressional candidate ever to carry two counties in “Little Dixie.” Gary's time in private practice would take a pause when Senator Nickles came calling on Gary to encourage him to accept President Ronald Reagan's appointment as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
In 1981, Gary gave up his lucrative practice to tackle one the largest corruption cases in Oklahoma. Gary, along with two other U.S. Attorney's in Oklahoma, convicted 210 County Commissioners who were engaged in a systematic kickback scheme that had been going on for decades.
In 1984, Gary returned to private practice and oversees one of the leading law practices in Oklahoma. He has also authored four books including the acclaimed “Black Robe Fever.”
Gary has three grown children - Chuck, who is a partner in Gary's firm, Chad, who practices law in Muskogee, and Chandra, who is married to a chiropractor in Edmond. Gary and his wife, Lanna, live in Tulsa. They are active members of South Tulsa Baptist Church. Gary has served in other churches as a Deacon, Sunday school teacher and music leader. Together, they have five children and eleven grandchildren.