Bullard was born in Cleveland, Ohio and attended Harvard University. After serving in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, he obtained his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He then ran successfully for the Michigan House of Representatives in 1972. He continued to hold his 53rd-district seat, representing Ann Arbor, until 1993.
Bullard was known for his strongly liberal stances and his passion for defending and expanding personal civil liberties.
According to the Associated Press, Bullard was part of a group of young liberal representatives who, during the 1970s, were known as the "Kiddie Caucus"; other members included David Hollister of Lansing and Morris Hood of Detroit. Early in his tenure, Bullard was the subject of criticism after he was photographed using marijuana at the second annual Hash Bash, a rally promoting less restrictive marijuana laws. Bullard told reporters who surrounded him as he smoked that "there's nothing wrong with it." Bullard eventually came to chair the state house Judiciary Committee. He sponsored the Open Meetings Act, the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, and blocked legislation that would have revived the death penalty and loosened requirements for police wiretaps. A decorated naval veteran of the Vietnam War, in which he served in 1966-67, he later renounced his 13 medals at an antiwar rally.
During the 1990s, after retiring from the state legislature, Bullard ran unsuccessfully for a state judgeship.
- "State Rep Tokes at Hash Bash" by (uncredited), Ann Arbor Sun, Apr 23 1973. "[http://freedomactivist.net/hashbash.html,%22
- %223,000 Hold 'Hashbash' at Michigan," Chicago Tribune, 2 Apr. 1973, p. 14; Associated Press, "Former Ann Arbor Rep. dies at age 56," Michigan Daily, 19 Oct. 1998.
- "Harvard University, Massachusetts Obituary and Death Notice Collection". Retrieved November 11, 2012.
- Perry Bullard information at The Political Graveyard
- Associated Press, "Former Ann Arbor Rep. dies at age 56," Michigan Daily, 19 Oct. 1998.
- Extensive biographical feature in Dave Dempsey, "Perry Bullard: Liberal Lawmaker, 1972-1992," Michigan Historical Review, 22 Mar. 2003.
- African Activist Archive Project: online material by and about anti-apartheid work of Perry Bullard as a state legislator in the 1970s and 1980s
Raymond J. Smit (R)
|State Representative for Michigan's 53rd District
Lynn N. Rivers (D)