After graduating from the University of California in 1952, where he played guard and linebacker, he served in the U.S. Army for two years. He was a first-round draft choice of the NFL's New York Yanks, the 2nd pick overall, in the 1952 NFL Draft. The Yanks folded before the 1952 season, and the Dallas Texans (NFL) assumed the rights to Richter. They traded him to the Los Angeles Rams for eleven players, the 2nd largest deal ever made for a single player. The largest was in 1953, when Cleveland and Baltimore made a 15-player trade. One of the Browns traveling to Baltimore was defensive back Don Shula.
After retiring from football, Richter had been involved with auto racing in a variety of positions. He had been vice-president of special projects for International Speedway Corporation, chairman of the board for the International Race of Champions, and senior vice president of operations for NASCAR.
As a lieutenant with the United States Army during the Korean War, Richter was buried at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California. At the time of his death, Richter was working at the Auto Club Speedway, owned by a sister company to ISC.