Richard Riley

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Richard Riley
Richard Riley Official Departament of Education Photo .jpg
6th United States Secretary of Education
In office
January 21, 1993 – January 20, 2001
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Lamar Alexander
Succeeded by Rod Paige
111th Governor of South Carolina
In office
January 10, 1979 – January 14, 1987
Lieutenant Nancy Stevenson
Michael R. Daniel
Preceded by James B. Edwards
Succeeded by Carroll A. Campbell, Jr.
Member of the South Carolina Senate from the 2nd District
In office
January 9, 1973 – January 11, 1977
Member of the South Carolina Senate from the 3rd District
In office
January 10, 1967 – January 9, 1973
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from Greenville County
In office
January 8, 1963 – January 10, 1967
Personal details
Born (1933-01-02) January 2, 1933 (age 81)
Greenville County, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ann Yarborough Riley
Alma mater Furman University
University of South Carolina
Profession Lawyer
Religion Methodist
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1954–1955

Richard Wilson Riley (born January 2, 1933) was an American politician, the United States Secretary of Education under President Bill Clinton and the 111th Governor of South Carolina. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life and career[edit]

Born on January 2, 1933 in Greenville, South Carolina, to Edwin P. Riley and the former Martha (née Dixon) Riley. He attended Furman University and graduated from University of South Carolina.

Riley served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966. He served in the South Carolina Senate from 1967 to 1977. Riley was elected governor of South Carolina in 1978. During his first term, the state constitution was amended to allow governors to serve two terms. Riley was re-elected in 1982 and served until 1987. Riley's chief accomplishment was improving funding and support for education.

As Governor, Riley presided over the resumption of executions, despite his personal opposition to the death penalty.[1]

In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Riley to his Cabinet as Secretary of Education. Riley served in this post until Clinton left office in 2001. Also in 1993, President Clinton approached Riley about an appointment to the United States Supreme Court, which Riley turned down. Clinton ultimately appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Since then, he has served as a partner in the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, and served as a board member of the Albert Shanker Institute. On June 27, 2007 he endorsed Hillary Clinton for President and served as a Campaign Co-Chair.[2]

In 1999, Furman University, Riley's alma mater, created the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, Politics and Public Leadership in his honor. In 2008, Walden University renamed its college of education the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, in honor of Riley's "commitment to students, his legacy of improving access to higher education, and his focus on diversity in education."[3] Winthrop University also renamed its college of education after Riley in 2000.

World Justice Project[edit]

Riley serves as an Honorary Co-Chair for the World Justice Project. The World Justice Project works to lead a global, multidisciplinary effort to strengthen the Rule of Law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity.

Personal life[edit]

Riley and his wife, the former Ann O. Yarborough, have three sons and one daughter.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
James B. Edwards
Governor of South Carolina
January 10, 1979–January 14, 1987
Succeeded by
Carroll A. Campbell, Jr.
Preceded by
Lamar Alexander
U.S. Secretary of Education
Served under: Bill Clinton

Succeeded by
Roderick Paige