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The Honorable Norman Rice

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Information about The Honorable Norman Rice

Profile image of The Honorable Norman Rice

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Mayor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Beans (Red), Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
The Best Is Yet To Come.

Birthplace

Born:
5/4/1943
Birth Location:
Denver, Colorado

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Mayor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Beans (Red), Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
The Best Is Yet To Come.

Birthplace

Born:
5/4/1943
Birth Location:
Denver
See how The Honorable Norman Rice is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Norman Blann Rice, born on May 4, 1943 in Denver, Colorado, was the 49th mayor of Seattle, Washington. Rice was Seattle’s first and only African American mayor. Rice is the youngest son of Irene Hazel Johnson (1913-1993) and Otha Patrick Rice (1916-1993). Rice’s father worked as a porter on the railroads and for the United States Postal Service. He was also the owner and operator of Rice’s Tap Room and Oven in Denver. Rice’s mother was a caterer and a bank clerk. Rice’s parents divorced when he was a teenager. His grandmother, Reverend Susie Whitman (1895-1989), Assistant Pastor at Seattle’s First A.M.E. Church, was one of the first western women ministers in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. After graduating from Denver’s Manual High School in 1961, Rice attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. Distressed by the segregated housing and meal facilities and frustrated by the work load, he dropped out in his second year and went to work. Between 1963 and 1969, Rice held jobs as a hospital orderly, a meter reader and an engineer’s assistant. Rice arrived in Seattle in 1969 and restarted his education at Highline Community College and received his A.A. degree in 1970. Then, he attended the University of Washington through the Economic Opportunity Program (EOP). By 1972, Rice had earned his B.A. degree in communications and in 1974 his M.A. degree in public administration at the University of Washington.

Before entering city government, Rice worked as a reporter at KOMO-TV News and KIXI Radio, served as Assistant Director of the Seattle Urban League, was Executive Assistant and Director of Government Services for the Puget Sound Council of Governments and was employed as the Manager of Corporate Contributions and Social Policy at Rainier National Bank. Rice was first elected to the Seattle City Council in 1978 and reelected in 1979, 1983 and 1987, serving eleven years in all. Rice served as Mayor of Seattle from 1990 to 1997. Because of his warm personality and easy smile, he was affectionately known as “Mayor Nice.” From 1995 to 1996, Mayor Rice served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, an association of more than a thousand of America’s largest cities.

After nineteen years of public service in Seattle city government, Rice served as president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle from 1998 to 2004. Rice was also Vice Chairman of Capital Access, LLC. Rice returned to academia in 2007 as a visiting professor at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, where he is to lead a series of public seminars on Civic Engagement for the 21st Century.

Rice married Constance Williams on February 15, 1973. They have one adult son, Mian Rice, and one grandchild, Sekoy Elliott Rice.

Rice was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 24, 2007.

See how The Honorable Norman Rice is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Norman Rice's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the entrepreneurial spirit of the black community in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice talks about his parents' restaurant
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his home life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his neighborhood in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his early interests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers the influence of religion
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the importance of storytelling
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the television programs of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers Wyman Elementary School in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his early interest in politics
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes Morey Junior High School in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers Manual High School in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his parents' divorce
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his experiences at Manual High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the aftermath of his parents' divorce
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his experiences at the University of Colorado Boulder
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working at the Denver General Hospital in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers a patient at the Denver General Hospital in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working for the Public Service Company of Colorado
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working as an engineer's assistant at IBM
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice reflects upon the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers University of Washington in Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his internship at KIXI Radio in Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working as a news editor at KOMO-TV in Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his studies at the University of Washington's Graduate School of Public Affairs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls becoming assistant director of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers meeting his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the civil rights issues in Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the protests at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers the Black Panther Party in Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his study for the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the 'Thursday Forum' on KCTS-TV in Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his role at the Puget Sound Council of Governments
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his decision to run for the Seattle City Council
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his campaign for the Seattle City Council
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his unsuccessful political campaigns
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his election as the mayor of Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice talks about mandatory busing in Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the support for his mayoral campaign in Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the Rainbow Coalition's support for his mayoral campaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice talks about his appeal to voters
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his educational summit
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice reflects upon his civic career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice reflects upon his educational achievements as mayor of Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice narrates his photographs