Native of Earth, father of Julian Bashir, whom he and his wife Amsha called "Jules." Richard and Amsha were deeply concerned when their young son exhibited learning disabilities. Just prior to Julian's seventh birthday, his parents took him to a planet outside Federation space, Adigeon Prime, to undergo an illegal genetic engineering procedure. While the DNA resequencing greatly enhanced Julian's intellectual and physical abilities, it led to a rift between father and son because Julian felt himself to be an unnatural replacement for a defective child. Although the Bashir family was successful in maintaining the secret of Julian's alteration for almost 25 years, they accidentally revealed the truth in 2373 before Dr. Lewis Zimmerman. Subsequently, in a plea-bargain agreement with the Judge Advocate General, Bashir confessed to the crime and accepted a two-year sentence at a minimum-security penal colony in New Zealand, Earth. He did this on the condition that Julian retain his Starfleet commission and his medical degree, since he was not responsible for his father's actions.

Richard Bashir held a wide variety of jobs during his life, never staying in any one for very long. He was a third-class steward on a shuttle for six months, and once served a stint in the diplomatic corps. Just prior to his prison sentence, Richard was involved in landscape architecture, designing parks and public spaces. He said he loved working on projects that would be enjoyed by thousands of people long after he's gone. But he was also fond of saying that his son was his greatest legacy.