Charles A. Richardson, DDS, moved to the city of Richardson, Tex, in the mid-1950s, during its first wave of suburban growth. Richardson became a community leader in the decades that followed as a member of the school board, park board, and hospital board.

"That generation, they were building their communities," daughter Laura Richardson of Lander, Wyo, told the Dallas Morning News. "He came with his three kids at the time and threw himself into building the town."

Although Richardson had a wild streak, according to his daughter (he was a runner for bootleggers and ran slot machines in his teen years), he eventually landed at the University of Texas, and then was drafted into the Army and sent to dental school under an accelerated program.

Richardson decided to study finance after years of practicing as an orthodontist, and in 1974 he helped to found Richardson National Bank.

Part of her father’s dedication to education, Ms. Richardson said, resulted from his upbringing.

"Education saved him," she said. "Daddy had a really tough childhood, and he was a striver. He was a believer in education, and he believed in it for everyone. He’s a real Texas story."