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David and Ann Richards Marriage Profile

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Known for her great wit, sassy attitude, tremendous sense of humor, and love of life, trailblazer Governor Ann Richards died on September 13, 2006. Here is information about her marriage to David Richards.

Born:

Dorothy Ann Willis aka Ann Richards: September 1, 1933 in Lakeview, Texas.

David R. Richards: abt. 1934.

Died:

Ann Richards: At the age of 73, on September 13, 2006, after fighting esophageal cancer for six months, Ann Richards died at her home in Austin, Texas surrounded by her family.

Funeral Information: 9/18/06 at the Frank Erwin Center at the University of Texas after lying in state in the rotunda of the state Capitol on 9/16/06 and 9/17/06.

Burial Information: Private ceremony in the state cemetery.

How Ann and David Met:

David and Ann met during Ann's senior year in high school. Their romance continued while they both attended Baylor University.

Wedding Date:

David and Ann were married on May 30, 1953 while they were still in college. Ann was 19 years old.

On their honeymoon, David's feet became infected after he cut his feet on some coral.

Ann Richards, about their honeymoon: "It was fourteen days after we got home before he could get out of bed. There were lots of remarks by my friends that I would take David off on a honeymoon and he couldn't get out of bed for two weeks."
Source: Women of Strength: Biographies of 106 Who Have Excelled in Traditionally Male Fields, A.D. 61 to the Present by Louis Baldwin, page 118.

Divorce:

Friends and family confronted Ann about her alcoholism on 9/27/1980. She entered St. Mary's Chemical Dependency Center in Minnesota for treatment.

David and Ann separated in December 1980. They divorced on February 1, 1984.

David, about Ann's alcohol problem: "Having a few drinks with colleagues becomes the norm, and before you know it, you're sloshed. But everyone covers for you, because they like you or because you have power or because it's our nature to look the other way. In any event, I did not step forward at the time and try to reverse the course, assuming I had the power to do so. I let the issue slide, and as a result, the gulf between us continued to widen as time passed."
Source: Once Upon a Time in Texas: A Liberal in the Lone Star State, by David R. Richards, page 216.

Children:

David and Ann had four children and eight grandchildren.

  • Cecile Richards: President of Planned Parenthood, former deputy chief of staff for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Cecile lives in New York with her husband and three children.

  • Clark Richards: Lives in Austin, Texas.

  • Ellen Richards: Lives in Austin, Texas.

  • Dan Richards: Lives in Austin, Texas.

Occupations:

Ann Richards: Texas' 45th Governor, Texas State Treasurer, Travis County Commissioner, motivational speaker, CNN commentator, visiting professor, consultant, teacher, homemaker.

Dave Richards: Labor and civil rights attorney, staff attorney on the national Civil Rights Commission.

Quotes About the Marriage of David and Ann Richards:

Ann Richards, about the dissolution of her marriage: "Things were not improving in our marriage. David and I never fought, which was probably a failing rather than a blessing. We rarely had arguments, but the marriage was slipping beyond my grasp, and as it did I drank more and more. I don't want to suggest that that was the cause of my drinking. I only know that the pain of living was less with alcohol ... I thought I would died if I were not married to David Richards ...
Source: Straight from the Heart, by Ann Richards, 1989, pages 202, 204

David, about the end of their marriage: "By early 1981, it was apparent that Ann and I had come to the end of our run, and I moved out and into an apartment. The kids were pretty well raised by this time, away in college or boarding school. The energy for hanging together just wasn't there. Our marriage had been dramatically strong for many years. We had produced four very special children and had together taken immeasurable joy in the parenting experience. We had been fixtures, of a sort, in the liberal Democratic community of Texas and had a string of accomplishments that, probably, neither would have achieved on our own. The end was a shock, but seemed inescapable."
Source: Once Upon a Time in Texas: A Liberal in the Lone Star State, by David R. Richards, page 216.

Ann, advice to women: "When you stop to think about it, you are really the only person you can count on living with for the rest of your life. Coming to peace with who you are brings a level of security."
Source: Good Housekeeping, March 2003, p127.

Ann, about their divorce: "I was married for 30 years, and I still have a real hard time replaying the tape in my head about all those years down the drain. You know, the phrases you're taught about divorce, and the great fear of growing old alone."
Source: Good Housekeeping, March 2003, p127.

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