Sidney Lanier Rushing was born August 20, 1930, in Carthage, Mississippi. After graduating from Jordan High School in 1948, Rushing earned a B.S. degree in political science from Mississippi Valley State University and an M.Ed. degree from Southern University. Rushing taught social studies in the Gulfport, Mississippi, city schools from 1958 to 1971.
In 1972, Rushing worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1974, he was invited by a friend to apply for a management training position with Gulfport's Hancock Bank. Rushing was hired, and despite the discrimination he experienced, he rose from loan officer to vice president. As a bank official, Rushing opened up banking opportunities for other African Americans. Moreover, he used his knowledge of the community to inform his business decisions and the community supported him.
Civic-minded and service-oriented, Rushing serves on the boards of the Mississippi Resource Development Corporation, the PTA, St. Marks United Methodist Church, the Gulfport Planning Commission and is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He was appointed to the Mississippi Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges and is president of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. Rushing and other Gulfport activists recently formed the John C. Robinson Brown Condor Association to honor Robinson, a Gulfport native and aviation pioneer.