Richard Griffin (councilmember)

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Richard L. Griffin (March 30, 1934 – August 13, 2008) was an African-American city councilmember from the city of Richmond, California who served for more than 20 years, including a stint as vice mayor. He was appointed to the council in 1981 to fill a vacancy. then re-elected in 1985 and multiple times thereafter until deciding not to run for re-election in 2006.[1]

He has received three National Science Foundation Scholarships. He held a BA in chemistry and biology and an MA in education from San Francisco State University. He worked as a microbiologist for Schlitz Brewery and was chief chemist for General Dynamics Corporation, then became a public school teacher and later principal before moving into politics.[2]

Life and activities

He was born March 30, 1934 in Malvern, Arkansas. He married his wife Bettye in 1957. He lived in the city of Richmond for 37 years and served in the United States Army. He had been a union member in the United Administrators of Oakland Schools, Local 83.

He was a Baptist and attended services at St. John Missionary Baptist Church. In the past he had served as director of both the Richmond Girls Club and Greater Richmond Social Service Corporation.


Griffin died August 13, 2008 after a long battle with various health problems. He was 74 years old.


  1. Longtime Richmond City Council member dies at 74, Oakland Tribune, August 13, 2008
  2. Educator and Councilman Richard Griffin dies, San Francisco Chronicle, August 21, 2008