Bill Richardson, who served two terms as governor of New Mexico and 14 years as a congressman before devoting himself to the cause of Americans who were being held hostage or who he believed were being wrongfully detained overseas, died on Friday at his summer home in Chatham, Mass., on Cape Cod. He was 75.
His death was announced by the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, which he founded. The cause was not given.
Under President Bill Clinton, Mr. Richardson was ambassador to the United Nations, succeeding Madeleine Albright in early 1997, and then secretary of energy, beginning in August 1998. He served in the House of Representatives, as a member of the New Mexico delegation, from 1982 to 1996.
In 2008, he mounted a short-lived campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination and then endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. After winning the presidency, Mr. Obama nominated Mr. Richardson as secretary of commerce, but he withdrew because of a pending investigation into improper business dealings in his home state. That investigation was later dropped.
After he completed his second term as governor, on Jan. 1, 2011, he practiced quasi-public diplomacy, visiting North Korea several times to secure the release of Americans detained there and conducting other humanitarian missions. In 2021, he won the release of Danny Fenster, an American journalist, from a prison in Myanmar.
A complete obituary will appear shortly.