In memoriam: Dr. James R. Richards


In memoriam: Dr. James R. Richards

Jun 01, 2007

Dr. James R. Richards
As many of you now know, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine professor Dr. James R. Richards died on April 24, after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident.

Dr. Richards was director of the Feline Health Center at Cornell and editor-in-chief of the college's newsletter CATWatch. A nationally known expert on cats, he was a spokesperson for the KNOW Heartworms campaign and an adviser to Alley Cat Allies, a trap-neuter-return program. He was a past president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and led the Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force in the 1990s.

Beyond his many accomplishments, Dr. Richards was a kind and generous man, dedicated to sharing his extensive knowledge of feline medicine with fellow practitioners, as well as with the public.

Last September, we asked Dr. Richards to write an overview of the newly released AAFP feline vaccination guidelines (his article appeared in Veterinary Medicine's October 2006 issue). His e-mailed response was as follows:

Hello Margaret,

Attached you'll find my little note and a picture. The article is a bit longer than you'd requested, so if you need me to chop it just let me know. I tend to be bombastic, but I'm sure a good editor can make it read more smoothly. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity!


This e-mail epitomizes Dr. Richards' humility, enthusiasm, and commitment to educating practitioners. The loss of this gracious man is profound.