|Chair of the United States Commission on Civil Rights|
|Preceded by||William B. Allen|
|Succeeded by||Mary Frances Berry|
December 22, 1924|
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
|Died||July 12, 2005
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Resting place||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Alma mater||Washburn University
La Salle Extension University
Arthur A. "Art" Fletcher (December 22, 1924 in Phoenix, Arizona – July 12, 2005 in Washington DC) was an American government official, widely referred to as the "father of affirmative action" as he was largely responsible for the Revised Philadelphia Plan.
Life and career
Fletcher moved with his wife, Bernyce, and two youngest children to Pasco, Washington, where he took a job with the Hanford Atomic Energy Project. He also organized a community self-help program in predominantly black East Pasco, and landed a seat on the Pasco City Council. In 1968, Fletcher ran for Lieutenant Governor of Washington State, and narrowly lost to the incumbent, John Cherberg. Fletcher was the first African American in Washington as well as the West to contest a statewide electoral office.  During the campaign, his driver and bodyguard was Ted Bundy, the serial killer who was active in Republican Party politics in the late 1960s through the early 1970s.
Fletcher's close race for Lieutenant Governor got the attention of newly elected President Richard Nixon, who gave Fletcher a job in the incoming administration as Assistant Secretary of Labor. An African American, he served in the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and George H. W. Bush administrations.
In 1978, Fletcher ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Washington, D.C., but was defeated by the popular Democrat Marion Barry. In 1995, he briefly pursued a bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Numbers of his fellow Republicans were often at odds with the affirmative action policies which Fletcher initiated and supported as the chairman from 1990 to 1993 of the United States Commission on Civil Rights
- Holley, Joe (July 14, 2005). Affirmative Action Pioneer Advised GOP Presidents. Washington Post
- Mcgann, Chris (July 12, 2005)
- Rule, Ann. The Stranger Beside Me pg. 15. 1980. Penguin Putnam. New York, NY.
- NPR obituary, in RealAudio or for Windows Media Player. Accessed 20 July 2005.
- "Barry Gets 71 Pct. for Mayor of D.C.". Youngstown Vindicator, via Google News. Associated Press. November 8, 1978.
- NPR commentary by his granddaughter, KUOW-FM reporter and producer Phyllis Fletcher. Accessed 20 June 2006.
- Presidential adviser Arthur Fletcher, 80, dies, obituary on MSN. Accessed 20 July 2005.
- Arthur Fletcher on HistoryMakers.com. Accessed 20 July 2005.
- Arthur A Fletcher at Find a Grave
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for Mayor of the District of Columbia
William B. Allen
|Chair of the United States Commission on Civil Rights
Mary Frances Berry