Richard Belford was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1927 and grew up in Paterson, New Jersey. Upon graduation from Eastside High School in 1943, Mr. Belford went to Rutgers. He joined the U.S. Navy during World War II and served on the destroyer escort USS Sarsfield around Key West. After the war, Mr. Belford returned to Rutgers on the GI Bill and studied psychology. He studied law at New York University and enjoyed a career as a lawyer.