Richards was working in his studio on the ninety-second floor of the World Trade Center, the night of September 10, 2001, and was still there early the next morning when the buildings fell. He did not survive the attack on September 11. The last piece he was known to have been working on was a sculpture depicting an airman riding a burning meteor, falling toward Earth.
Michael Rolando Richards (August 2, 1963 – September 11, 2001) was an African-American sculptor of Jamaican and Costa Rican ancestry who was killed during the September 11 attacks while in his art studio on the 92nd Floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower. He explored his African-American history and identity through sculpture, conceptual art, and installation pieces. Influenced by the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s, Richards delved into African-American history and folklore for images that would expose the contradictions of American society. Richards worked primarily in bronze.