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David Richmond was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1941. He attended Jonesboro Elementary, Lincoln Junior High, and Dudley High School, graduating in 1959. Richmond then attended North Carolina A&T State University, where he participated in the sit-ins of February 1960 and 1964 demonstrations.
After leaving A&T, Richmond often had difficulty finding employment in the city, but held various jobs at CETA [Comprehensive Employment Training Act], the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Cone Mills, and the Greensboro Health Care Center. In the late 1970s, Richmond moved to Franklin, North Carolina, to care for his parents. He was awarded the Levi Coffin Award for leadership in human rights in 1980 and an honorary doctorate of humanities from A&T in 1990. He died on December 7, 1990.