Dick Richardson was initially a congressman of the Enclave, quickly rising to power in 2215 with help from his father, Richardson Senior, who served as the former president of the Enclave in the term that preceded his son's own succession to the office. This process ended up with Dick Richardson being elected by the Enclave in 2220 for his own first term as the president of the Enclave. By 2242, Richardson was serving his sixth term for presidential office, leading the Enclave towards a new era of their organization's prosperity and relatively mutation-free humanity. However, he did so at the cost of his own health, as he had become a thin, nervous man, as tired and frayed as the suits he wears.
Richardson controlled the military forces of the Enclave, and was the head of a patriotic propaganda campaign targeting the pure strain humans who inhabited the Enclave oil rig off the coast of California. He oversaw the Enclave's master plan to free the wastelands of the United States from the grip of all mutants by killing nearly all intelligent life on the North American continent with a genetically modified biological weapon. By his own claims, president Richardson did not find any joy or pleasure in the Enclave's plan of exterminating the people on the mainland using the modified strain of West-Tek's Forced Evolutionary Virus, but was calmly accepting of what he saw as a necessary evil to ensure the survival of the Enclave's "pure" strain of humanity.
The game's ending states that with the destruction of the Enclave's oil rig in 2242 by the Chosen One, all traces of President Richardson's existence were destroyed forever, with the title of "President" now simply used as a term to frighten the children of the Core Region. His successor, president John Henry Eden from Fallout 3, refers to president Dick Richardson as one of America's many leaders that he studied for inspiration, and Elder Owyn Lyons mentions president Richardson when talking about president John Henry Eden, stating, "The Brotherhood encountered the Enclave once before, you see, on the west coast. Back then they were led by a President Richardson."
In spite of the fact that he is one of the shortest lived characters in the entire game, he practically reveals all the background storyline questions regarding the Enclave, their reason behind digging up Mariposa Military Base, and their connection with the vaults, as well as the reasons for the kidnapping of the Chosen One's fellow tribesmen. The president seems to be somewhat gullible in both his willingness to reveal so much and that in one dialogue option, can claim to be the 'Emperor of the Planet Quetzl' and Richardson pretends to believe in the claim, although he is merely stalling for time until security arrives. One can also get him to tell of some previously unknown pre-War history outside of the Enclave, which shows that the U.S. was winning the war and were marching through Beijing when China panicked and started launching their nukes. America retaliated with their own, and suffered severe damage from the enemy bombs. It is revealed that the bombs dropped on China, completely devastating the entire country.
He holds the presidential access keycard, which can only be obtained by killing him using one of the following options:
Use many super stimpaks on him (eight shots seem to be enough; although those who use the Restoration Project patch will need about 12 super stimpaks), and then use the Pipboy's wait function for the after effects to kill him. (Enclave not alerted)
By reverse pickpocketing him with an active explosive and leaving to another section, he will either die or be weakened (Enclave not alerted)
Just kill him (Enclave alerted)
Sneak and shoot him, if he receives a critical hit, he will die (Enclave sometimes alerted, sometimes not)