Mr Richardson, life president of the Oldbury-based Richardson family business, had celebrated his 92nd birthday on Monday.
He and his late twin brother Don, who died in 2007, were born in Brierley Hill and left school at 14 to work for their father selling used commercial vehicles. They began their own business careers in 1948 after completing their national service together in the RAF.
The award was presented to Mr Richardson in the boardroom at the Express & Star's head office in Queen Street, Wolverhampton, during a lunch reception for sponsors of the newspaper's business awards which include Richardson, who sponsor business person of the year.
Editor Martin Wright, making the presentation, said the award recognised his enormous contribution to the Black Country over many years through the business which is now led by his sons Martyn, Lee and Carl.
He said the Richardson twins had been known for key projects including developing the Merry Hill shopping centre in Brierley Hill which had created 10,000 jobs for the local community in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
They had also delivered Star City and The Fort retail park in Birmingham.
"Today the success story continues and the business has expanded across the UK and around the world," added Mr Wright.
He said last year's opening of the McArthurGlen West Midlands Designer Outlet at Cannock had delivered 75 new stores and more than 1,000 jobs.
"It proved to be such a great success that plans are in place for a second phase of 50 stores creating another 500 jobs," he explained.
Mr Wright concluded: "Today on behalf of the Express & Star I pay tribute to Roy for making a contribution to the region in so many ways. There is no one more deserving of our first lifetime achievement award."
Mr Richardson, who was also awarded the Freedom of the City of London in a ceremony held at London’s Guildhall in March, said: "This is a really wonderful honour for someone born in the Black Country."
He said it meant a lot to him to receive an award from the newspaper.
"I have read the Express & Star for 80 years. I commend you and your team on the quality you maintain in the newspaper and website," added Mr Richardson, who also said the Express & Star was a "bloody good leader" of the Black Country.
"We are pleased and proud of all our family business has achieved and contributed," he said.
Richardson has created thousands of jobs and supported many charities over the years.
Mr Richardson said the company was delighted to be one of the sponsors of this year's Express & Star Business Awards.
"I congratulate you on continuing to run events such as the business awards which are so important in showcasing many businesses here in the Black Country and encouraging those who work so hard to make them a success," enthused Mr Richardson.