Don Richardson was born in Luton, England. As a boy, he became interested in flowers by wandering through bluebell woods near home. In a nearby village, he found a meadow of daffodils near the home of G.B Shaw. Only at age 13 did he enter school but he had already amassed a list of wildflowers which was sent to and accepted at St. Albans Museum. It was in St. Albans where he was introduce to orchids by working at A.F.C. Sanders. He studied fro 3 years at the Royal Botanic gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland where he met his future wife, Peggy. He sailed for the U.S.A. in 1930 and worked for the pharmaceutical magnate G.W. Merck in West Orange, N.J. When Mr. Merck died, he had left his orchid collection to Don. This was later moved to the John Hay Whitney estate in Manhasset, N.Y. where Don worked for 22 years. He was a founder and first president of the Greater New York Orchid Society. He was also a Judge Emeritus of the American Orchid Society. The Horticultural Society of New York presented him with a gold medal in 1971, where he was also then named Man of the Year.