Gary Richardson

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Gary Richardson, c. 1977
Gary Richardson as Mayor of Midfield

Gary R. Richardson (born February 18, 1957) is president and CEO of Richardson Broadcasting Corporation (which operates WJLD-AM and WAYE-AM), director of technology for Bessemer City Schools, and Mayor of Midfield.

Richardson became interested in electronics as a child. While a student at Jackson-Olin High School, he helped set up an operate a low-power FM campus station and determined to pursue a career in radio. He has associate's degrees in mass communication and electronic engineering technology from Jefferson State Community College. He earned a bachelor's degree in electronic engineering technology from Excelsior College in Albany, New York and a bachelor's of business administration from Faulkner University in Montgomery. He also has a master's in education from Alabama A&M University.

Richardson purchased WJLD in 1987, becoming one of the youngest station owners in the United States. He serves as the station's engineer and morning show host, and employs 18 others in its operation. He was named to the Birmingham Business Journal's "Top 40 Under 40" in 1989 and served on Birmingham mayor Bernard Kincaid's transition team in 1999. In 2011 he purchased WAYE-AM from the Willis family.

Before being elected Mayor of Midfield in 2004, Richardson ran unsuccessfully in the 2002 primary for Jefferson County Commission District 2. He was re-elected as Mayor in 2008, 2012 and 2016. In 2010 he was also one of 6 candidates to qualify in the 2010 Democratic primary to fill the Commission District 2 seat left open when Shelia Smoot decided to run for U.S. Congress.

Richardson has worked for Bessemer school system since 1994. Since being elected Mayor, he has served as president of the Jefferson County Mayor's Association and on the boards of the National Conference of Black Mayors and the World Conference of Mayors. He has also served as a board member for the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity (JCCEO), the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, and the Birmingham Business Alliance. He was a member of the Railroad Park board and was appointed to the board of commissioners for Red Mountain Park.

Richardson and his wife, Willamena have six children. They are members of Faith Chapel Christian Church.

Preceded by:
Buck Williams
Mayor of Midfield
Succeeded by:


  • Bryant, Joseph D. (May 18, 2010) "Campaign 2010: Jefferson County District 2 commission hopefuls target sewers." Birmingham News
  • Williams, Roy L. (August 7, 2011) "On the Record: Gary Richardson, owner of WJLD-1400 AM Radio." Birmingham News

External links