ANAHEIM, CA, December 08, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Morris Dick Richards, Ph.D., with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Richards celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Morris, better known as Dick, was born just 12 days before the start of World War II, in San Pedro, California, the sea port community of Los Angeles. His father, Morris Dick Richards, died before he was born and his courageous mother, Annette Fox Richards, a refugee from Bessarabia, raised by herself and with the help of friends, Dick and his two year older brother, Lester. Annette remarried in 1943 to Lynn Briggs, who lovingly raised Dick, Lester and their new brother Lynn Briggs, Jr. Dickie and Lester performed their joint "Bar Mitzvah," at the same time, in the old building of Temple Beth El, in San Pedro, in 1952. Dickie also completed his confirmation at Temple Beth El, in 1954.
Dick, called "Dickie," in his early years, attended Bandini Street Elementary School, Dana Jr. High School and San Pedro High School. He was very involved in student government, extracurricular activities and sports. During high school, Dickie served as Commissioner of Athletics, Student Body Vice-President and Fall Semester Senior Class Vice-President. In athletics, he earned six varsity letters: three letters in gymnastics as a tumbler; and three letters in tennis. Dickie also earned three non-varsity letters in D, C, and B basketball.
All throughout high school, Dickie studied diligently and was honored as a California Federation Scholar, a Gold Seal Bearer, Ephebian Society recipient, inducted into the school's Knights honor society and the Quill and Scroll Society (for his outstanding writing of sports articles for the school paper). As San Pedro High School's California Boys' State Representative, he travelled to Sacramento and stayed in the State fairgrounds for a week learning about how the State government operated. During high school, Dickie worked in a hardware store, mowed lawns and sold ice cream. When he could find a spare moment, he loved going to the beach with his high school buddies to ride the waves (no surf boards in his day--just body surfing).
After graduating in the top five per cent of his class, Dick attended Los Angeles Harbor College for one semester and then joined the California National Guard as part of his commitment to the Special Reserve Forces Act of 1957. He remained in the Army Reserves until December 31, 1965, receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Army of the United States. After serving six months active duty, Dick returned to Harbor College for a second semester and then was awarded the prestigious three-year Haynes Scholarship to Claremont Men's College.
While at Claremont Men's College--CMC (now Claremont Mckenna College), he was Spring Sing chairman for his dormitory, the college's blood drive coordinator, played on the varsity basketball team's bench one season and for one season was one of the two divers on the Swim Team. Other college activities included being one of Claremont's cheerleaders, wrote sports articles for the college's newspaper, worked in the school's cafeteria washing pots, pans and dishes and serving food to students and worked in the book store. Dick completed his military obligations by attending Army Reserve meetings once a month in a Combat Engineering Unit, in Ontario, California and a Psychological Warfare Unit at Fort MacArthur, in San Pedro. On free weekends, he worked as a gardener. Yes, he was quite a busy guy!
In all of Dick's college experiences, he spent most of his time in libraries studying and researching. Very important to Dick was his involvement in intramural flag football and softball games. His excellent grades at CMC, placed him on the scholastic honor roll each semester. He was elected into the Stags Honor Society. In 1962, Dick graduated cum laude from Claremont Men's College, with a Bachelor's of Arts Degree (B.A.), in Political Philosophy and Public Affairs.
Go east young man was his calling, so Dick, who only ventured one time outside of California, was granted a University of Chicago National Institute of Mental Health Fellowship and traveled to the prestigious University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration. In 1964, Dick earned his Master of Arts Degree in Social Work. His first year internship was with the Chicago Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, where he organized the Southeast Chicago Community Organization. His second year internship was with the Southside Jewish Community Center, as a group worker with the center's teenagers.
While studying at the University of Chicago, he worked part-time as a group worker at the Benton Settlement House, in Bridgeport, a neighborhood of Chicago. In his two summers at Chicago, Dick worked as a Counselor in Training Supervisor and Teenage Boys Group Supervisor at Camp Seneca Lake in northern New York State's five finger lake region. Being homesick for California, in September of 1964, Dick traveled back to Los Angeles and was hired by the Jewish Big Brothers Association of Los Angeles County as a Psychiatric Social Worker. He had previously worked one summer as a camp counselor in the Jewish Big Brothers' Camp Max Strauss.
As a case worker and group worker with Special Services for Groups, Dick worked part-time in the Watts district. His clients were "pre-delinquents" referred to Special Services by the Los Angeles Police Department's sub-station, located in Watts, across the street from a public housing project. As a part-time psychiatric social worker for the State Department of Social Welfare, Community Services Division, Dick worked with mentally challenged (developmentally disabled) adolescents and adults and provided consultation support to operators of board and care facilities in Watts and South Central Los Angeles.
Switching from working for private agencies to public agencies, Dick was hired by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. He served in various positions, including Supervising Child Welfare Worker in Children's Protective Services for San Gabriel Valley and Watts; Supervising Child Welfare Worker for Intake and Detention Control at MacLaren Hall; Head Child Welfare Worker and Program Analyst for the Emergency and Dependency Division; Executive Staff Assistant to the Director of the Bureau of Family and Children's Services and part-time Nite Owl Worker for Emergency Medical Services as Emergency Placement Worker. While working for Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services, Dick served as the Department's consultant to the Los Angeles County Family and Children's Services Committee and the County's Public Welfare Commission.
While working full-time, Dick received the University of Southern California Alumni Fellowship and studied Public Administration at night at USC's School of Public Administration. In 1965, he was awarded his Masters of Public Administration degree from USC. Not having enough education, he studied day and night and on weekends for about five years and finally in 1971, earned his Bachelor of Legal Letters (L.L.B.) from the correspondent school, La Salle Extension University of Law. Dick could have gone into the field of law, but instead, he decided to earn a doctorate degree in Social Work. Was this a mistake? Of course not!
Looking for more educational challenges, in 1971, Dick resigned from the Department of Public Social Services and was admitted into the doctoral program at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Social Work in 1971. He received the Faulk Program in Urban Mental Health Research Fellowship. In two years, in the early summer of 1973, Dick earned his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Social Work and a joint Masters of Science degree in Mental Health Hygiene from the University's School of Public Health. While a doctoral student at Pitt, during his summer vacations, he designed and taught two graduate courses to social work students, entitled "Deviance and Family Disequilibrium" and "Family Law and Legal Issues." He also worked part-time as a supervisor in the United Synagogue of Youth Program in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh.
Again, yearning for California, Dr. Richards got a job as Acting Assistant Deputy Director of Childrens and Youth Services for the Orange County Department of Mental Health. Dr. Richards served on the following boards: Mental Health Advisory Board, American Jewish Committee, Mental Health Association, Broadmoor Community Association, and Orange County Association of Retarded Citizens (OARC). Dr. Richards also was a consultant representing the Orange County Department of Mental Health to the following Orange County organizations: Head Start of the New Hope School; Foster Home Coordination Task Force; School Attendance Review Board; Inter-Departmental Continuing Care Task Force; Law Enforcement Diversion Community Based Alternatives Task Force; Juvenile Diversion Task Force; and the Child Abuse Policy Committee.
While holding down this full-time demanding position as Acting Assistant Deputy Director of Children's and Youth Services for Orange County Department of Mental Health, Dr. Richards worked as a part-time casework specialist at Jewish Family Service of Orange County; a Medical Social Work Consultant at Whittier Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital and established the hospital's first Social Work Department. He also taught at Chapman College, as an instructor and then because of his outstanding teaching, was appointed Adjunct Professor. As a part-time teacher at Chapman College for ten years, Dr. Richards developed and taught the course, "Ethics and Family Law." He also taught "Social Policy and Current Issues in Social Work," Community Organization and Social Action" and "Child Welfare and Family Law."
As a licensed professional Clinical Social Worker, Dr. Richards gave freely of his time for his professional organization, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). He served as the Orange County Chapter's chair of NASW Mental Health Committee, member of the California Chapter's Future Commission, Vice-Chair of the Orange County Chapter, liaison to the Mental Health Advisory Board, member of the NASW Orange County Chapter's Steering Committee and, in 1987, selected as NASW's Orange County Chapter's Social Worker of the year.
Professionally, Dr. Richards held California licenses in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling and Clinical Social Worker. He was inducted into the honorary Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW). He was also inducted as a Diplomate for Clinical Social Workers. Dr. Richards served two times on the Board of Behavioral Science Examiners, as a Clinical Social Work Oral Test Reviewer. Oh yes, Dr. Richards had a private psychotherapy practice focusing on individual, marriage and family therapy for two years. Did someone say, he was a workaholic and a studentolic? He also served at least three times as an Election Poll Worker and at least three times as a volunteer week-end Manager of an Orange County operated homeless shelter located in local California National Guard buildings.
A new challenge occurred and Dr. Richards left the County of Orange Department of Mental Health and worked for six years as General Manager and Industrial Social Work for Paragon West Knitting Mills, Inc. While working for Paragon West, he attended night school at Chapman College and earned an MBA degree. After leaving Paragon West, Dr. Richards worked for a year as Acting Program Director and Senior Counselor for the inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center, Horizon Health Corporation.
Dr. Richards returned to public services and became a Senior Social Worker with Orange County Adoptions Agency. He established the County of Orange Adoption Newsletter and was its editor and chief writer. Dr. Richards organized a county-wide adoptions steering committee consisting of multicultural members. He moved on to the County's Environmental Management Agency and served as a staff analyst and administrative analyst in the Administration Division and then was transferred as Executive Staff Assistant to the County's Director of Planning. He also served as a Staff Analyst in the county's Social Services Agency as a Facility Planner. Upon retirement from the County of Orange, Dr. Richards worked part-time as a contract administrator, policies and procedures analyst, and as a Senior Clinical Social Worker working with patients suffering from drug addictions and mental illnesses (Dual Diagnosis Program).
Dr. Richards also taught the following courses at the California Graduate Institute: Ethics and Law; Social Bases of Behavior; and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. At the California State University at Fullerton, in the Counseling Division, Dr. Richards taught Therapeutic Modes of Individual Counseling; Introduction to Human Services; and a Child Welfare course. At the University of Phoenix, Dr. Richards taught Ethics and Law; Wealth and Power; Management and Organizational Behavior; and Ethics in Management.
Believe it or not, Dr. Richards and his Clinical Psychologist wife, Dr. Leslie, married for over 45 years, love to travel, talk shop, explore eating new and different kinds of food and best of all over the years, play with their many loving chihuahuas, several cats and a pet opossum. Dr. Richards is an active tennis player, played basketball in a few leagues and pick-up games at his local gym, and at the ripe age of 55, earned a brown belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate and a black belt in Anja Banfa Karate (the silent method).
Dr. Richards has written several Orange County Department of Mental Health research papers, several NASW letters to the editor columns, two Annual Reports for the County of Orange Environmental Management Agency, and was the editor of three newsletters, Orange County Adoptions Advocate, Orange County Management Agency Planning Department's Planning Perspective, and the Broadmoor Community Association's Newsletter. He wrote most of the articles used in these newsletters. Dr. Richards is currently working on his six volume tome, with the working title, "Jews, Judaism and YAHWEH: Toward an Understanding." He thinks he still has several years work ahead before it is completed and ready for publication.
As a commitment to the community and to give back the blessings he received from the various colleges he attended, Dr. Dick and his wife, Dr. Leslie, have established significant Endowed Achievement Scholarship Funds to help outstanding and financially needy students with financial aid at the following institutions of higher education: Los Angeles Harbor Community College; California State University, Fullerton College of Health and Human Development; University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration; and the University of Pittsburgh Doctoral Program in Social Work. On Dr. Dick and Dr. Leslie's target list for future Achievement Scholarship endowments are Claremont McKenna College, Chapman University, and Soka College. Leslie and Dick have also made smaller, but still important financial gifts to the City of Anaheim's Canyon Hills Library Branch.
Looking back over Dick's career, he believes his most important and best achievement was to meet his wife, Dr. Leslie Richards, on a blind date, back in December of 1973. Being married to Leslie has been Dr. Dick Richards' most wonderful and highest achievement. Over the many marital years, Dr. Leslie has provided Dick with in house "counseling," intelligent and common sense support, encouragement, guidance, a beacon of hope, and unwavering love. Dr. Leslie also taught Dr. Dick about the wonderful love of Chihuahuas. As a result, Dick and Leslie have enjoyed the love and companionship of many pet Chihuahuas over their years together. Dr. Leslie has given Dr. Dick a spiritual and righteous pathway toward wonderful tomorrows.
Dr. Richards has been a Marquis Who's Who recipient in the 54th through 58th editions of Who's Who in America and the 21st through 28th edition of Who's Who in the West.
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