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The Honorable Richard Arrington

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Information about The Honorable Richard Arrington

Profile image of The Honorable Richard Arrington

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Political leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue-Brown
Favorite Food:
Beef tips
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Egypt
Favorite Quote:
Some Men See Things As They Are And Ask Why. I Dream Things That Never Were And Ask Why Not.

Birthplace

Born:
10/19/1934
Birth Location:
Livingston, Alabama

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Political leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue-Brown
Favorite Food:
Beef tips
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Egypt
Favorite Quote:
Some Men See Things As They Are And Ask Why. I Dream Things That Never Were And Ask Why Not.

Birthplace

Born:
10/19/1934
Birth Location:
Livingston
See how The Honorable Richard Arrington is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Political leader Richard Arrington was born on October 19, 1934 in Livingston, Alabama to Richard Arrington, Sr. and Mary Bell Arrington. Arrington graduated from Fairfield Industrial High School in Fairfield, Alabama in 1951. He went on to attend Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama where he earned his B.S. degree in biology in 1955; his M.S. degree in biology from the University of Detroit in Detroit, Michigan in 1957 and his Ph.D. degree in zoology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma in 1966. Arrington later continued his post-doctoral work in higher education administration at Harvard University and the University of Michigan.

After graduating from the University of Detroit, Arrington returned to Miles College as an assistant professor of science from 1957 until 1963. In 1959, he served as a National Science Foundation Fellow in genetics at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and in radiation biology at the Medical College of the State University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Arrington then studied molecular biology at Washington University, St. Louis in 1960. He later returned to Miles College and served as acting dean and director of the summer school program. Arrington was then promoted to chair of the natural sciences department and became the dean of Miles College in 1966. In 1970, Arrington was named executive director of the Alabama Center for Higher Education and served until 1979. In the same year, he was hired as a part-time associate professor of biology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. In 1971, Arrington was elected to the Birmingham City Council and won re-election in 1975. Arrington ran for mayor of the City of Birmingham and was elected as the first African American mayor in 1979. After twenty years as mayor, Arrington retired in 1999 and worked as a visiting professor of public service at the University of Alabama, Birmingham until his retirement in 2003. In 2008, he published his memoir, There’s Hope for the World.

Arrington has seven children: Anthony, Kenneth, Kevin, Angela, Erica, Matthew and Jennifer.

Richard Arrington was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 4, 2017.

See how The Honorable Richard Arrington is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of the Honorable Richard Arrington's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Richard Arrington lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers his paternal great-grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his maternal relatives
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Richard Arrington lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers Robinson Elementary School in Fairfield, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers Fairfield Industrial High School in Fairfield, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers his decision to attend Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Richard Arrington recalls the Crumbey Bethel Primitive Baptist Church in Fairfield, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his interest in biology
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his transition to a majority-white environment
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his early experiences of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers working at the Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his fellowship from the National Science Foundation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his graduate education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers registering to vote
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his experiences at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his marriages and children
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers the zoology department at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his study of foreign languages
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his doctoral dissertation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Richard Arrington recalls his return to Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his decision to run for the Birmingham City Council
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his achievements on the Birmingham City Council
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers his first mayoral campaign
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes the support for his first mayoral campaign
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers forming his mayoral administration
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes the impact of his mayoralty on Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Richard Arrington reflects upon the first generation of black mayors in U.S. cities
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Richard Arrington reflects upon the end of his mayoralty
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about the appointment of Judge U.W. Clemon
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Richard Arrington reflects upon the political aims of the black community in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Richard Arrington reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Richard Arrington reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Richard Arrington shares a message to future generations