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The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco

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Information about The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco

Profile image of The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Royal Blue, Periwinkle
Favorite Food:
Salad, Soup
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere with Family
Favorite Quote:
Don’t Do Today What You Can Put Off To Tomorrow 'Cause Tomorrow You Might Not Have To Do It.

Birthplace

Born:
7/16/1929
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Royal Blue, Periwinkle
Favorite Food:
Salad, Soup
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere with Family
Favorite Quote:
Don’t Do Today What You Can Put Off To Tomorrow 'Cause Tomorrow You Might Not Have To Do It.

Birthplace

Born:
7/16/1929
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

On July 16, 1929, Wilhelmina R. Delco was born to Juanita and William P. Fitzgerald in Chicago, Illinois. She attended Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago where she served as president of the student body and was a member of the National Honor Society. Delco received her B.A. degree in sociology from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1950.

In 1952, Delco married, had four children and relocated to Texas. As a concerned parent, Delco became an active leader in the Parent Teacher Association of her children’s school. Delco ran and was elected to the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees in 1968, three days after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This landmark victory made Delco the first African American elected to public office in Austin, Texas. Following her first term on the school board, Delco sought to become a force in statewide policy-making and ran a successful campaign for the Texas House of Representatives, making her the first African American elected official elected at-large in Travis County.

Delco served ten terms in the Texas Legislature and served on more than twenty different committees. Delco was a founding member of the Austin Community College Board. In 1979, Delco was appointed chair of the House Higher Education Committee where she served until 1991 when she was appointed speaker pro tempore. This made her the first woman and the second African American to hold the second highest position in the Texas House of Representatives.

Since her retirement from the Texas Legislature in 1995, Delco remains an active force in education. Having been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from ten colleges and universities, Delco is the chair of the Board of Trustees at Houston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas, and serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin with the Community College Leadership Program. She and her husband, Dr. Exalton A. Delco, Jr., live in Austin, Texas. They have four children and nine grandchildren.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes her mother's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes her parents' marriage and divorce
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco recalls the death of her father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco recalls her childhood community in Chicago
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco recalls her childhood family activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes her mother's focus on education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco recalls attending Nashville's Fisk University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes the community of Fisk University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco remembers joining the Catholic church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes the values espoused by Fisk University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco recalls her marriage to Exalton Delco, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco recalls her husband's service in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco recalls moving to Austin, Texas in 1956
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco recalls her involvement in education in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco recalls the deaths of American civic leaders
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes the course of her political career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes her achievements in elected office
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco talks about being a black woman in the Texas House of Representatives
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco recalls the desegregation of Austin's public schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco talks about the decline of urban public schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes her hopes for community organizing
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes her concerns for future generations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco reflects upon her life, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco reflects upon her life, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco talks about hopes for her grandchildren
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Wilhelmina Delco narrates her photographs, pt. 2