The City of Kansas City, MO named Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park in honor of former Mayor Richard L. Berkley for his extraordinary history of service to the city and its people. As mayor of Kansas City from 1979 to 1991, he helped bring 911 services to the city’s residents and created the mayor’s task forces on food and hunger, drugs and AIDS. He created the Kansas City Jazz Commission and co-originated the Kansas City Ethics Commission. He chaired the Municipal Art Commission and served on the Police Board.
Recognized during his terms as one of the nation’s most popular mayors among his peers, he served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He was president of the Missouri Municipal League. Before serving as mayor, he was a City Council Member beginning in 1969 for 10 years – the last 8 elected Mayor Pro Tem by his colleagues on the Council.
Richard Berkley earned William Jewell College’s W.H. Yates Medallion of Distinguished Service in Civic Affairs, the B’nai B’rith Man of the Year Award, Baker University’s Public Service Award, The Kansas City Spirit Award, The Chamber of Commerce’s Man of the Year, and the Economic Development Corporation’s James C. Denney Spirit Award. He received awards from Park University, UNICO, and was recognized by the Urban League as a Difference Maker.
After leaving office he served as Chairman of the Film Commission, Chairman of People to People International and a member of the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority.