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Richard Riley

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Title: Richard Riley  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of Governors of South Carolina, South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1978, Rod Paige, James B. Edwards, United States Secretary of Education
Collection: 1933 Births, American Methodists, Clinton Administration Cabinet Members, Democratic Party State Governors of the United States, Furman University Alumni, Governors of South Carolina, Living People, Members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, People from Greenville County, South Carolina, South Carolina Democrats, South Carolina State Senators, United States Secretaries of Education, University of South Carolina Alumni, University of South Carolina Trustees
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Richard Riley

Richard Riley
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 Daniel
Preceded by James Edwards
Succeeded by Carroll Campbell
Personal details
Born (1933-01-02) January 2, 1933
Greenville, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ann Yarborough
Alma mater Furman University
University of South Carolina, Columbia
Religion Methodism
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1954–1955

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


  • Early life and career 1
  • World Justice Project 2
  • Personal life 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life and career

Born on January 2, 1933 in Greenville, South Carolina, to Edward P. "Ted" Riley [1] 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, 69-31 percent, over the Republican former journalist W. D. Workman, Jr., of Greenville, and served until 1987.

As Governor, Riley presided over the resumption of executions, despite his personal opposition to the death penalty.[2]

Riley's gubernatorial accomplishments centered upon improving funding and support for education and industrial recruitment. He named Max Heller, the mayor of Greenville who had lost the 1978 election for the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina's 4th congressional district to Republican Carroll A. Campbell, as the chairman of the South Carolina State Development Board. In this position, Heller recruited such businesses as Michelin North America and Digital Computer. State business recruitment under Heller surpassed $1 billion.[3] Heller pursued industrial diversification; during his five years as chairman of the development board, more than 65,000 jobs were created statewide.[4]

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.[5]

In 1999, Furman University, Riley's alma mater, created the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, Politics and Public Leadership in his honor. In 2000, Riley received the Foreign Language Advocacy Award from the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in recognition of his support for education and especially for his repeated recommendations that all students learn a second language.[6] 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."[7] Winthrop University also renamed its college of education after Riley in 2000.

World Justice Project

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

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

See also


  • U.S. Department of Education Bio
  • The Political Graveyard
  • CNN AllPolitics – Players – Richard Riley
  • Nelson, Mullins, Riley, and Scarborough Biography
  • Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership
  • The Riley Institute
  • Furman University
  1. ^ Edward P "Ted" Riley Papers, South Carolina Political Collections, University of South Carolina
  2. ^ The best governor in America – and you've never heard of him. – Free Online Library
  3. ^ "Katrina Daniel, A Tribute to Max Heller, August 1, 2011". Greenville Business Magazine. Retrieved May 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Max Heller Biography".  
  5. ^
  6. ^ "The James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award". Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Retrieved August 28, 2014. 
  7. ^

External links

  • SCIway Biography of Richard Wilson Riley
  • NGA Biography of Richard Wilson Riley
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bryan Dorn
Democratic nominee for Governor of South Carolina
1978, 1982
Succeeded by
Michael Daniel
Political offices
Preceded by
James Edwards
Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Carroll Campbell
Preceded by
Lamar Alexander
United States Secretary of Education
Succeeded by
Rod Paige
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