During his time at Lehigh, Richard Daugherty was actively involved in the student body, serving as president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, treasurer of A.I.I.E. and secretary and treasurer of the Brown Key Society. Daugherty was also a member of the freshman and junior class cabinets, the Interfraternity Council, the Arnold Air Society and the Senior Class Gift Committee. Immediately following his graduation in 1957 ( B.S., Industrial Engineering), Daugherty was hired by IBM.
Daugherty's career with IBM spanned more than 38 years—22 of which were spent acting as vice president and general manager of the research facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. RTP is one of the oldest and largest science parks in North America and is currently home to 157 companies employing more than 39,000 full-time high-tech workers. It was here that Daugherty is credit ed with leading IBM's growth from 4,000 workers to 12,000—making its RTP R&D facility the largest IBM installation in the world. Following his position as general manager of IBM RTP, Daugherty was promoted to Vice President of Worldwide PC Manufacturing.
Immediately following his retirement from IBM in 1994, Daugherty was invited to work with NC State University to establish a research campus near Lake Raleigh. Although his contract was originally only for one year, he ended up serving the centennial campus for six years, acting as a liaison between the government, business and the high-tech research endeavors of the university. Today the campus continues to grow as a place for NC State students, faculty, industry and government to live, learn, work and play together. Since 2001, Daugherty has been serving on several boards of directors and continues to be active in various community activities.
In 1996, Daugherty—an avid golfer with a 15 handicap—was honored with the North Carolina Electronics and Information Technologies Association (NCEITA) Award of Excellence in recognition of his "personal advocacy for North Carolina, including IBM's growth, [North Carolina's] universities, and golf." He also received the North Carolina Public Service Award in 1991 and the Chamber of Commerce's A.E. Finley Award in 1994. He and his wife, Marlene, still reside in Raleigh, North Carolina.